Building Emotional Sobriety One Blog Post At A Time
August 22. I think I got profiled. I mean that’s a little how it felt, not to be compared to the experiences of any others, don’t come at me, but gave me pause for thought on all of this.
The other day I went out for a walk from my house to get my second workout in. It had been really cloudy and drizzly earlier in the day and all of that cleared and way and the sun was shinning. It was a gorgeous afternoon.
I live on a relatively quiet street that is about a mile and a half long and at the end of the road there is a lane that continues off (it’s a fork in the road), where there are a few houses and then a dead end. Typically I walk all the way to that dead end to get to the halfway point of my time and then turn around.
I was on my way back when a white luxury car of some kind (I can’t remember the brand) was pulling down very slowly and kind of stopped. I assumed they were pulling into the driveway so I stopped and waved her in.
She pulled into the driveway...
August 19. Ok so I’m going to need you to grab another cup of coffee or just sit down while you read this because my mind is on FIRE this am.
I was on my morning jalk, my new term for what I’m doing these days. I start of jogging for a bit for as long as I can until the 150% humidity takes over my soul and crushes it. Then I walk for a bit, sometimes try and jog again, repeat.
And of course I was listening to some good stuff along the way. I continue to be amazed at the incredible amounts of phenomenal, insightful, inspiring women there are out there doing wonderful work to build our emotional intelligence and give us hope.
And that I haven’t met them all yet. This morning there are two more!
Anne Lamont is a legend in the recovery world, if you haven’t heard of her, look her up. She's written a bunch of books, she has been sober for like a million years and she is incredibly spiritually fit. She is sixty seven years old so there’s that. Of course...
August 17. The concept of unity is stuck in my head. I won’t go off on another tangent but it truly is interesting in all of our circles most especially the addiction community.
How many times as people in recovery have you seen messages like “Addiction isn’t a disease, you have a choice”, “Stop using the medical model as a cop out and start doing the right thing”, “You will never recover”, etc.
And then there’s the conversations around California sober, medication assisted treatment, the use of psycho-pharmacologicals and twelve step programs. Ugh it’s exhausting even writing that sentence because I have been part of all of those conversations more than one time.
And the bottom line is, there really aren’t “right” answers, only what’s right for you. And frankly whatever works for you to stay sober AND live well beyond recovery. That is the most important thing.
Truly the only thing because without...
August 16th. The difference between unity and equality are subtle but important. In our modern times it seems the call for equality has become the loudest voice heard. The catalyst for change, for understanding and cancel culture.
Equality denotes acceptance or exclusion of someone or something based on specific qualities.
Unity however, is parts that make up a whole. A coming together of all the people and things to include our differences. A blending of diversity of thought, color, spiritual beliefs, upbringing and purpose.
Together we were made as humans.
Together we were blessed.
Together we multiply and fill the earth.
Together we stand
It feels much different to live in this way, inclusive, expansive and the opportunities are great to learn from each other. When we all our difference to be a blessing, when we welcome diversity in every way, we expand the capacity of humanity.
The walls around prejudice, assumptions and hate get broken down, often with a simple...
August 13. Have you ever been so struck by something that you realize you are the fool? You are the one that has been accepting things in your life over and over and over again expecting different results.
That insidious nature of insanity that seeps into all the cracks in the most vulnerable moments of life. Infiltrating all the parts, leaving damage that often isn’t seen for many moons to come, sometimes never.
As a huge believer in the truth that we get what we allow, this is a hard pill to swallow when it comes up in my life. Its like being punched in the gut even after putting on all your protective gear.
Doubled over retching on the ground with the knowledge that this is ultimately my fault. #dramaticmuch
This is one of the reasons why relationships with other humans are probably the hardest things we will ever do in this life. They require more effort, more care, more tenderness and compassion than anything else we will engage in during our years on earth.
August 11th. This week will prove to be another big challenge for maintaining the 75 Hard Challenge. Because we are on vacation. Well if traveling with six teenagers equals vacation that is.
So far so good but yesterday we went white water rafting and will be gone for several hours. Turns out that was a really intense workout for much longer than 45 minutes. It counts!
One great thing about this challenge for me is the reminder of resilience. There is so much we CAN do as human beings and so often we get side tracked because of our feelings. We allow the feeling of exhaustion, frustration, anger or sadness to take over and prevent us from doing certain things.
The key is, forget the feelings and just do it. When you wake up and your mind says hit the snooze button, don’t waste a seconds time, turn that alarm off and get up. When you are exhausted after work but you said you were going to the gym, don’t think about it just drive your car there.
Because in the words of Mel...
August 4. Life is a funny thing right. This space between birth and death, between heaven and earth. The dash between the date on the tombstone.
This is life. It’s huge and also small.
It’s wide and expansive reaching to the ends of the earth and beyond, and also narrow, limited and restricted.
How can something be all of those things. The joy we experience with the beauty all around us, when we breathe fresh air, feel warm sun on our skin, look our babies in their eyes, snuggle with your puppy, enjoy hot sex in a mutually loving relationship, devour a gorgeous and healthy salad filled with nutrition from the earth. You get the idea.
And the pain that comes from living. The physical pain we endure from playing sports, getting in accidents, growing older. And the emotional pain.
The searing overwhelm that comes from being in relationship with others, from losing people we love, from the disappointments that will come for all of us, from the diagnosis. Its like the sting,...
August 3rd. You will never believe this! Last night I went for a jog and I lasted the entire forty five minutes. It is still very slow but I jogged for forty five minutes! I even shocked myself. I am starting to come back.
Today I reminded myself never to ever let myself go that far down again because it takes way to much effort and energy to come back. If you just maintain relative fitness and health you don’t have to make these dramatic changes.
Have you ever seen someone have a lightbulb moment? Maybe a friend or someone you were working with. You are talking to them and you can just tell from their eyes, they are getting it.
There is a glimmer of hope, a change.
As a therapist I have the pleasure of experiencing it a lot actually, just nature of the job. And today was one of those days. I was working with a client and I could just tell the confidence was growing right before my eyes throughout the session.
We were building on something we discussed last week...
August 2. One of the best things about life is that the sun sets each day and then rises again in the morning. It rises with the promise of a new day, a fresh start, the life force energy that it provides and warmth.
No matter what is going on in life you can count on that. You know it will happen and the opportunity is there to be different, renewed.
It’s not magic. The sun of tomorrow doesn’t take away our problems.
Of course not but it provides hope. It reminds us of the passing of time, that this too shall pass. That transitions will come whether we like them or not, seasons change, relationships end, people get sober, some don’t. We can’t stop it no matter what we do.
Sometimes I imagine I am a dam holding back the entire force of nature that is the water behind me, the change that is coming. In my mind it works.
I can see this huge barrier and me standing there up against it, with the confidence of a super hero. Holding strong, pushing back...
August 1. Our journey through change is ever winding. And the emotional ups and downs I experience throughout that are sometimes so overwhelming the only thing I can think to do is take a nap.
The flood of cortisol that comes from a marital issue, or the needs of a teenager or job stress make me feel like I am drowning.
I am coming to believe this never ends. Although my parents might say differently as they are living their best life in retirement. But even they have challenges that create a similar cycle, I don’t think it is as extreme.
Managing those emotions takes a great deal of intention.
I am thankful today I can break the downward spiral by using tools like breath work, essential oils, exercise, tapping, etc. whenever those feelings start to bubble up.
Of course, the sooner we insert them the better and that’s what I did a lot of this week. Also reminding myself I can’t control anyone else or change them, only myself, (breathe, butterfly hug, oil up,...