Maintaining my Sobriety

Visiting Chicago!

Dear Readers,

Sometimes I feel very pessimistic about the world, and the only way I feel I can keep sane is by acting where I can. It might be as small as a donation to a person I want elected, or to a non-profit I support. The act of doing something helps, even in a little way, rather than just getting angry and doing nothing.

I used to have resentment about so many things and people I had no control over, such as animal abusers and terrorists. I learned that just getting angry didn’t change a thing. I needed to act.

I have no control over so many things. The one thing I can control is not taking a first drink.

As I slowly come up to 4 years and 11 months, I realize that the number of days or years does not mean I will never have a slip or a relapse if I am not careful.

The things that are helping me today, are honesty, volunteering in area of recovery, supportive people, being aware of my thinking, self-compassion, and gratitude.

Today I told a friend I wanted to have a drink when I was 80. She said I need to eat a whole cherry pie instead. I probably will choose Moose Tracks ice cream, but it was good to share that thought with her. It’s hard for Mr. UT to hear that I have thoughts of drinking pop up now and then. I need to keep honest, however, so I don’t start hiding those thoughts.

Some of the wonderful people who volunteer with me!

Volunteering at Steve Rummler Hope Network, making kits with Narcan/Naloxone, is a cornerstone of my recovery. Most people I meet there are in recovery, or have had children who are in recovery. Some people have had children who have passed away due to overdosing on opioids. I have such a deep connection with these people. A few people just volunteer because they want to help! We share stories, but laugh a lot! We are happy because we are living and helping other people. I am amazed at the parents who can still smile even after losing a child. I learn how to be resilient, and how to live with grief.

My Twitter friends in the #recoveryposse, my real life friends, my family, my husband and my AA buddies all help support me. In fact, I know I have many people I could text at a moment’s notice to get help if I needed! I also reach out to other people, knowing they might need a kind word.

My thoughts are not always true, and so to question them is important. If I feel frumpy, or unloved, I have to challenge those thoughts. Are they really true? Many times they are not. (Like asking Mr. UT if I look old. He always says, no!! Smart man! LOL) Drinking thoughts come, and I blow them away. Like the wind, thoughts come and go.

When I started learning about self-compassion with a wonderful therapist when I was going deaf, and during my first cochlear implant, I realized just how hard I was on myself. Being your own best friend sounds corny, but it is important to my mental health as well as keeping sober. I had to learn to forgive myself for not being perfect. I had to realize I was loved.

Having fun on our walks!!

When I first started getting sober, I was still stuck in a victim mentally. It was hard for me not to feel sorry for myself, wish I could travel like some of my friends, wish I was somebody I wasn’t. Wishing I could still hear music. Slowly, starting with a gratitude journal, reading other people’s stories, I started to change my thinking to one of all that I have. Not all that I lack. This has been one of the most life-affirming habits, that has made me, my marriage, and everyone around me happier. I work on this daily, however, as it is easy to start grumbling again.

Just today I am not drinking. I am loving and living.

With a cup of coffee or ice cream,

On Day 1781,

Wendy

PS – I am healing nicely and got to play a round of golf today! Mr. UT and I traveled by car to see some of my family and visit Chicago for several days. We had so much fun!

22 thoughts on “Maintaining my Sobriety

      1. Moose Tracks team! Hahaha…you’re amazing Wendy. You truly inspire me to be a better and more positive person. Love you. -M

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post and I love the “I learned that just getting angry didn’t change a thing. I needed to act.” and feel the same. That is a lot of what my volunteer work is for doing what I can to help the animals. I do get upset sometimes about what happens to some poor animals but I also know in my soul that I am doing what I can to help them. I too still think about drinking from time to time but the freedom I have without that noose around my neck is so great I hope I never do. Thank Wendy you always give me great food for thought posts ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cherry pie sounds good to me too – why wait? 🍒

    Great post, Wendy. Your volunteer work and ideas remind me to do little acts where I can. Thoughts of drinking still are completely normal. I have found they drop off considerably but I know if one pops back in my head, it doesn’t mean I will. It helps to share them with another.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are such an inspiration!!
    I have gotten crabby the last few days because my shared apartment mailbox has had a bag of dog poo sitting on top of it. Tonight when I took my trash out, I stopped by the mailboxes and threw it in my bag. Just doing that little thing made me feel so much better. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t mine. It was something simple that needed taking care of and instead of getting crabby each time I saw it, I trashed it. Easy peasey.
    Also, I agree about the moose tracks. 🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓

    Liked by 2 people

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