Category Archives: Uncategorized

Omg I’m getting old & I Prevail

So…I have a stress fracture in my foot. I am not a runner. I practice a lot of yoga..vigorous and still. And I spend a good amount of time standing at concerts. Lol

Somehow these things, combines with some thinner bones from celiac disease and maybe years of strparving and drinking, have resulted in a fractured fifth metatarsal so I am currently galumphing along in an air boot. It’s very stylist. Lol. I am not happy to have to limit my activity. I’m trying to not freak out…

Anyway, on the weekend hubby and I headed south to see I Prevail. I tried to back out…claiming injury…but Craig didn’t want to go without his favourite sidekick (I have to say that was a definitely plus in all this. It’s nice to know he likes being with me as much as I like being with him).

So we went to Edmonton to see I Prevail. 

It turned out they were playing in a bar. We usually see bands at bigger venues and for some reason thought this was a university hall. Nope…nightclub that hosts bands. It was interesting. I not big on bars. I don’t really love sitting beside the bottles of open liquor. I don’t want to drink them, but still…they seem looming when there.

The show was 16+ and the drinking seemsed fairly controlled. And wow, the crowd was young. I’m guessing the average age was in the lower 20s….I never usually feel old at 45, but in a nightclub, wearing a walking boot. Sober. I did.

Of course, the band was excellent. And once they play I don’t really care about the rest. I enjoy the live music and the clear love for performing that the bad had.

One of the band members spoke of a friend who had recently committed suicide. He told of his own struggles with depression. He encouraged anyone and everyone in the audience to recognize their innate worth, to know that they belong, and to ask for help if you find yourself struggling. I wish I could figure out how to link their song Alone….

It was a great message. One I try to both share myself, and follow. When a metalcore band can speak up during a set with a message like that, I know things are only getting better.

So remember…you are worthy. You deserve to be happy. Others want the best for you too.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Unexpected memories…Garth Brooks

I went to see Garth Brooks on Sunday. I know…not my usual scene!

But we are in Edmonton to see Billy Talent tonight and Garth is here playing 9 sold out shows. So I decided to get with the program and go.

25 years ago I loved Garth Brooks. My then boyfriend like country music and we frequented country bars. Garth Brooks was popular.

Years have passed and Garth has been in retirement for most of them. THe last I remember he had become unglued and remade himself as pop singer Chris Gaines before retiring to stay home with his kids. After that I never followed country much. I was at university and then Craig and I met and moved to fort mc.

So Sunday was a real shocker. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen. I knew almost all the songs. All the word. So many memories. I cried. More than once.

His singing is just so heartfelt and beautiful. His enthusiasm was unparalleled. I have seen many excellent bands this year, and enjoyed them, but this was a a tribute to fans from across the years. He played all his old hits. Who doesn’t like The Dance? Unanswered Prayers? Friends in low places? I didn’t sit the entire time!

The show was amazing. And for the encore he comes out alone, guitar in hand, and plays all the songs requested on signs. By himself. His ability to remember the lyrics to all these songs on a moments notice was shocking.

I’m so glad I went. It filled my heart.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Step one…admitting we are powerless over alcohol

I never planned to go to AA. I wasn’t that bad (ha ha…silly me). I really felt I just needed to get myself under control. To find the right combination of rules and restrictions to ensure I could drink enough to get buzzed, but not pass out on the couch. And perhaps to make it through a Sunday afternoon without drinking.

When I started this that is exactly what I did do. I decided zero alcohol for a year. A gift for myself. A non negotiable break.

For me, that was enough to get things going…it somehow got me through the hysteria, anxiety and then sever depression that followed in the first months of sobriety. That,and the immediate recognition that somehow life without alcohol was better,even if it felt scary and hard.

Eventually I started looking around for support. I was lonely and sad. I was still afraid to admit I had had a real drinking problem…after all, I had a professional job, a lovely home and family, a life that looked ok from the outside. 

Jean from Unpickled gave me some good words of advice. Be open minded. Try different things. Stop trying to solve the problem with the same thinking that created it.

So, I tried AA. Going to a meeting is a intensely scary and exhilarating experience. Everyone should try it! Don’t worry. No one will make you do or say anything!

And there I heard my own story told back to me from people I never expected. Stories of drinking compulsively. Of loneliness. And of dispair. Followed by a brilliant realization that there is another way to live, and that it is not only not bad, but full of joy and happiness and comfort and contentment. Honesty and personal responsibility.

The most powerful idea I have learned at AA is step one. Admitting I am powerless over alcohol, and that my life had become unmanageable.

I “do” this step every day. I know that the only way to take back my power is to not add alcohol. So I don’t. And life remains very manageable.

I spent many days reading about habits, diets, metabolism, changing behaviour, etc. In the end, I just had to let go of the clearly mistaken belief I had that alcohol added anything to my life. Or to anyone’s life, for that matter.

I still have the same job, family and life I had before. But Now I am able to see past my own self focus. A drinkers eyes are always turned on themselves. It is selfish and self destructive .

Sober eyes see the world. And the unending beauty and potential available.

If you are struggling, take the risk and go to a meeting. You never have to go back, but perhaps you will hear something that will change you thoughts.

Stillness and peace .

Anne

Excellent advice for anyone on the sober journey…

Hurrah for coffee has written a great post full of truth. Please check out her blog!

 

anne

 
What my lapses and relapses have tought me.This is a post for myself to refer back to if I EVER feel like drinking again. If this helps anyone else that is awesome too. I had 5 years sobriety in my 20’s but was white knuckling it alone. Then in my 30s 2and half years then another year and half. Then a couple […]

alcohol, coping, Recovery, alcoholic

https://hurrahforcoffeeblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/what-my-lapses-and-relapses-have-tought-me/

Happy New Year

Happy new year to all those on this sober journey with me.

If you are new, and seeking, you can do this. It is not only worth it, it is amazing. The potential that come with giving up alcohol is unbelievable. And I know you don’t believe me…but read my blog, or others. It’s true!

For those who have been around a while, thank you. This community is a special and powerful force.

2016 was a really chaotic year for us, but we ended it wiser, full of gratitude for the love and support shown our community in our time of need and comfortable in our own home. Gifts.

It was also a year of huge opportunity. We travelled to over twenty concerts. Everything from slayer to Jennifer Lopez, Chris Cornell to disturbed. Each and every one was an experience amplified by the fact I was clear headed and engaged.

Every day we get a chance to begin again. Take this opportunity to make your life beautiful.

stillness and peace

anne

Anne’s word for 2017- santosha


 I have written about this before, but for anyone new…

I came across the word of the year in early 2014. I liked the idea. A word to use as an intention, a though to remind me of my desires and hopes for the year. A word to help me stay on my path. A word to inspire myself.
I had decided to quit drinking for a year on December 1, 2013. By early 2014 I was in awe that life was already better without alcohol, but I was also anxious, clinically depressed and generally in the midst of a breakdown (or spiritual awakening, as Brene Brown would put it).

My therapist continually drew me back to the idea of unconditional self acceptance. A concept I didn’t really believe possible for me, as I could only see all my deficiencies and was unwilling to accept them in any way.

 And there is was. My word for 2014 would be ACCAPTANCE. I used it at yoga as my intention. I used it when I was mad at how life was. I used it when things didn’t go my way.

By the end of 2014 acceptance felt familiar. 

In 2015 i chose LOVE. I believe love is the root of everything. That we all need more love, not less, especially when we are angry, hurting, failing. And so I tried to respond to life with love. I was kinder and gentler to myself. 

I though love might continue and be my word every year, but when 2016 came around it was clear that my word would be FAITH. Faith in myself. Faith that I was ok, that I was a capable, competent and worthy person. Faith that I was on the right path.

Faith took me far in 2016. When we had to flee our home and drive through a fire (literally…I drove my van down a road burning on both sides). I had faith that I could handle the situation. And When I needed help doing that I asked for it. By allowing others to help hold me up when I was falling apart I realized that I truly do have faith in me. That I trust myself.   Staggering.

So. 2017. Starting my 4th sober year, I have chosen SANTOSHA or contentment. It is one of the niyamas, one of the 8 Limbs of ashtanga yoga. For me, it is being satisfied with what is…not rallying for or against what isn’t. It’s that deep feeling that everything is ok, that things are exactly as they are supposed to be. The fresh tattoo is on my right wrist, and is santosha in Sanskrit. I almost had it done earlier this year, but I decided to wait until we were in vegas this past weekend. Perfect timing.

Lao Tzu provides a perfect description of santosha for me.

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu

And, because I was getting tattooed anyway, I added a bit of colour….(tattoo done by Lacie at Hart and Huntington Vegas).


I hope I have motivated you to choose your own word of the year. Blog about it or comment!

Stillness and peace

Anne

Milestone – 3 years 

Just writing that seems outrageous. 3 years? 3 years since I finally decided enough was enough? 

I never expected that on December 1, 2013. I just knew I neede a change and that all my other attempts to fix myself -extreme diets, excessive exercise plans, rules and lists and criticism and repercussions-had stoped working. I was so lost and lonely and sad…and very very scared of myself as my behaviour around alcohol had become sneaky and compulsive.

Deciding to give myself a year of sobriety for my birthday (which is December 8) seemed like a last ditch plan. Could I make a promise to myself and keep it? It seemed unlikely, as I had been lying to myself for a while. And that lying was crushing my soul.

But I did. I heard the inner voice that begged me to take care of myself. And so, unlike all the other times I proclaimed I would cut back and drink less, I asked for help.

I called a therapist. I cleaned out all the booze from the house. I told people, out loud, of my plan for zero drinking for a year. Not andrink here and there. Not drinks on my birthday the next week. Zero. Many laughed. Others thought I was just being extreme. Maybe that helped make it real for me. 

I have a journal from that month. I wavered between elation, seeing the freedom of sobriety almost immediately, and hysteria. My anxiety peaked. My depression, that I had never acknowledged, crept in deeeper and deeper.

But the promise to myself became a touch point. I didn’t think I could survive breaking it. And so I did whatever it took.

Yoga saved me. I found a way to make peace with my body and my mind. I began to understand myself more.this is a daily practice for me. A life. 

And my family. My awesome husband who also decided to quit drinking. My children who loved me.

The past 3 years have been the best of my life. Not the easiest…there have been deaths and losses and massive evacuations that have shaken me to my roots, but some of the most beautiful. I have found my husband to be my best friend…I never expected that. And I love him more every day. Even better, I like him more every day.

I have found faith and love and trust in myself. I have stillness and peace.

Tommy Rosen has a prayer that ends with thank you for the joys and challenges for my life.

I am truly thankful. For myself, my family, for all of you who walk this path of freedom with me. 

Stillness and peace,

Anne

The truth hurts

The other day my husband (also sober…we both are approaching our 3 year anniversary) commented we get so much more done on the weekends, and he no longer has to hold things together,  now that I am not passed out on the couch all day Sunday…

Ouch. 

After my initial ruffled feathers (after all, I had to do it all just as often when he was drinking) I relaxed and agreed.

If you had asked me in those days I would have defended my drinking to the ends of the earth. Everyone else drank…I has a highly paid preofessional job, I was fit, I exercised, our house was clean, I was a volunteer. I drank expensive wine…Yes, from the outside I looked ok.

But…was that true? I had started coming in to work late on Mondays…or calling in sick. The kids often survived on take out Pizza. I was fit, but I felt terrible and was forever covering bloodshot eyes and circles. I was unhappy and I hated myself. I felt weak and betrayed every time I drank more than I wanted to…which was most weekends.

No…I wasn’t fine. And my facade wasn’t nearly as good as I might have imagined.

The last year or so I drank I knew it was a problem. I could not stop once I started. I couldn’t keep to any of my moderation attempts. I even started missing workouts, or going so hungover I’m lucky I don’t injure myself.

I asked him why he didn’t say anything then. He laughed…knowing he was deep into his own problems…and told me I just would have gotten mad or upset.

And there’s the risk. Point out the denial, the problems, the slipping at regular life, and risk upsetting a person who is probably a bit irrational and compulsive. How might attach back.

When we ask our friends and families if we have a problem they often answer with what they think we want to hear. Or what they want to hear for themselves. Because I know I had many heavy drinking friends…and if I needed to quit, so might they!

Instead…get quiet and ask yourself. Ask yourself what you think…I know that little voice inside was begging for me to stop drinking…to stop my self destructive behaviour…to just give myself a break. I was so very tired.

I’m still shocked I listened. But as the booze cleared and my mind grew sharper, that voice celebrated. All those mean, self limiting, self depreciating, self loathing thoughts became a little cheering section. And as time has gone on it has grown into a deep love and faith in myself. I trust myself. 

Forget what other people think…what do you think? Are you living today? Because there is a deep Well of freedom, joy and peace and more fun and possibility available in sobriety than I can even begin to describe.

Do it. For you.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Open mind…so many options!

Hello!

I  are all well and finding your way through the fall. I had high hopes September would bring a sense on routine and normalacy to what has been a very disruptive year. But, alas, it just brought more things to do.

I used to think I likes rules and routine. That they gave me a sense of control. But I no longer try to control the universe, so while routine is ok, I actually miss the ease of summer. No lunches to make, no kids to wake up. Flip flops…

I’m going with the flow. It’s all ok.

After struggling with my back for a while, and doing much less to accomodate, I went to see an osteopath. Osteopaths look at the internal organs and their alignment and make subtle shifts to get things back to where they should be.

Oh my god! It has been amazing. My left leg is tingly and stronger. My back is straighter. My entire body seems to be coming to life. 

I’m still treating my back kindly. Pain is an excellent teacher and I see that more focused and controlled movements in yoga actually help me get into the meditative state I so love. Relying on the strength of my legs and shoulders instead of my lower back.

Every time I write about these alternate treatments I get a jolt of realization that this is growth. I am much more open minded than I used to be. Over the past 3 years I have found yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy, energy work, reiki, osteopathy. All have been interesting. And generally helpful.

Letting go of past biases. Trying new things. Embracing opportunities. Like teaching yoga or writing my book…it’s something to try. I don’t have time to be bored, although I do make a significant effort to find time to be still and quiet every day.

Life is beautiful. (Oh, and I went to see Sixx:am and that song was awesome)! Keep moving forward!

Stillness and peace

Anne