All posts by Ainsobriety

Dates and meaning

I believe that much of our suffering results from the meaning we give things. Meaning that has no read basis. It is subjective. As things change, the meaning changes.

Today is my 20 year wedding anniversary. Of course, craig and I are well on the way to getting divorced and there will be no celebrating.

I wondered this morning if I should feel more sad. The past 6 months have been filled with a wide range of emotion from excruciating heartbreak to anger, disappointment to self confidence. I embrace the liberation of being in charge with no one else to accommodate.

It is earth shattering to have the person you love choose to betray you. It is a huge blow to one’s ego. It opens the door to questioning my worthiness and my value. Is something wrong with me that he would hurt me so badly?

Bu in the end it is him hurting himself. I choose to remove myself from the drama.

I have moved on with rebuilding a safe and supportive life for myself and my kids. We have changed up the house. We have created new routines. They help more. Which is new as until this all happened in November we have had a live in nanny for 15 years. None of us are good at taking care of the house! Lol

The pets continue to multiple. There is now a fish, mouse, hamster, rabbit, bird, bearded dragon, snake and a leap arc gecko. Whew!

Part of me is still sad for the old Craig. He is missing out on so much. But I have to let go of my sympathy for him. He has his path. I am walking my own. Some day he will just be somebody that I used to know….but not yet, obviously, as even writing that makes me sad…

My hope is that next June 5 I don’t even notice the date.

So I am good. Finding myself. Absolutely still sober and grateful for that every day as I chauffeur kids around and keep things as sane as possible.

Stillness and peace

Anne

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Puzzle pieces

Bear with me…I have another analogy today about my life….

Our life has been like a puzzle. After many years of placing pieces we had created a lovely family picture. There were four of us, smiling, content. To get to this point has taken work from us both, independently and together.

Craig’s affair broke off his part of the puzzle. The pieces were thrown to the wind..damaged to a point they could never be put back where they were.

I’m left with The remaining part of the old picture…a picture of me and my two awesome kids. To smooth out the new edges I’m forced to continue dismantling the puzzle.

I changed my bedroom furniture, I sold my old van, I submitted all my financial document to get the divorce going. Each action is a removing of a piece of the puzzle that represents craig, and it is painful to do. I don’t want to be the one choosing to change the picture…but I can’t change the truth. The new picture only has three people in it.

Of course, it is still a lovely picture. And there are now seven pets joining us. Seems like a reasonable trade for one human.

I still have quite a few pieces to figure out. I’m not rushing them, but I’m doing it. The chance that the new picture is even better than the old is too attractive…just like sobriety!

Sometimes you just have to have faith.

Stillness and peace,

Anne

What is infidelity…

Hi there,

I know this is my sober blog. I started creating another blog to deal with my current life, but I stopped myself. This blog is really about me living my life sober. As such, I wrote about other things…depression, concerts, kids, natural disaster and now the end of my marriage.

I have written about craig a lot. We seemed to be best friends and had a lot of fun together. No…we were best friends and had a lot of fun together. I refuse to give up my good memories. Whenever I try to I become a little paranoid and unbalanced because then everything I know becomes questionable. I cannot live that way.

So, what am I going through…here is my analogy. If you have experienced this maybe it makes sense…

You and your spouse of many years are sitting side by side, marvelling at a sunrise. How beautiful. It’s a picture of perfect ease.

Without warning the spouse stabs you in the back with a knife. You are completely shocked and in pain. You cannot comprehend that your best friend, the person who has seen you at your best and your worst and still loves you, the father of your children, would do this.

He immediately says it wasn’t him. It was a mistake. There’s no knife. Don’t be silly. Let me help you.

You, confused, unable to reconcile your spouse, whom you love and trust, with a person who would stab you, agree to let him help you and turn your back to him.

He pulls the knife out. Pauses. And stabs you again. Immediate saying it was a mistake, somehow your fault for moving. There is no knife….don’t be so dramatic…

In pain, you are getting a bit more aware. No matter who you thought this other person was, they are now hurting you. Some self preservation kicks in. You step away from them.

He falls to his knees saying he didn’t mean to hurt you. He was confused. He’s not even sure where the knife came from. He loves you, but he’s unable to control himself with the knife. It will never happen again. He swears.

So you let him pull the knife out and quickly turn to face him. You still trust him enough not to hurt you when he is actually looking you in the eye. You know you will never turn your back to him again.

Suddenly he reaches out and slashes your arm. Again you are surprised. Then he slashed your other arm. And it dawns on you that you must move further away where he cannot cut you. It is very hard to do this. To leave your best friend, who you trust and love. You try to rationalize a reason for this behaviour. He is angry, he had a bad childhood, he is brainwashed, depressed, obsessed with knives. You watch him where he sits by himself, sharpening the knife, smiling at you. You wish you had thought to take the knife away after the first cut.

Scared and shaken you move far away from this person who would stab you and cut you without any apparent remorse or regret. Over time your wounds heal. They leave scars, but that’s just part of life. You never understand what happened, and eventually you stop trying to. There’s way too much life still to live.

Sorry for making the stabber a he. It could easily be a she as well.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a good day. I plan to. Stay sober! It makes everything manageable.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Stupid foot

I’m waiting for an x ray of my foot. I had a stress fracture 2 years ago and it’s never really felt right again. There’s suddenly a big bump at the spot and it hurts. I went to Physio and she wouldn’t touch it until it was x rayed. Sigh.

It’s not stopping me from going to yoga, etc, but it throbs at night and it hurts to wear shoes…

Otherwise I am learning to be single. I find it very lonely some days. I miss having that person to text hi to. To marvel at the cold or to send funny news articles. I am not that great at feeding myself. For years I’ve meal prepped and cooked. Now I often have cheese and crackers.

I’m going to try to get back to normal with this this week. My son is willing to try new things and so I’m going to cook some teen friendly meals.

Maybe this will help me get motivated. I am isolating in the house. I don’t go to yoga every day. I think I needed this time. I have been cleaning out the house and putting things how I want them. It’s liberating after having a live in caretaker for 15 years. I’ve never really taken care of the house. I like it.

Part of the reason our caregiver stayed was because craig was vocal that he would not do the household work. He would pay for it, or I could do it. I tried to for a very short time and I realized doing housework while your spouse sits on the couch is extremely resentment building. So we paid someone.

Now I do it for me, and the kids, but they are a small help. It’s good.

I saw craig yesterday and he told me he was lonely, missed us all desperately and thought he would like to date. That he didn’t believe I would ever forgive him and I would beat him over the head with the affair for the rest of our lives if we tried to reconcile. Yup. It’s really all my fault.

It’s funny. This just clarified his inability to take responsibility for his actions and his tendency to blame everyone else.

It all makes me sad and heavy. I don’t want to be a single parent. I don’t want to be divorced.

But suffering is wishing things were different than they are. I don’t want to suffer unnecessarily. So on I go. New life.

Stillness and peace

Anne

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

Anne

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,

Anne

Bloom

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 GreggBraden.com. 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,

Anne

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

 

Anne

Birthday

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,

Anne

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

Anne