Building Emotional Sobriety One Blog Post At A Time
August 31. If there is one thing I have learned over the past couple years (probably more if you count parenting) is there is so much we just don’t know.
And not only that but honestly, to have any peace in life it is imperative that we snuggle up with our blanket and get super comfortable next to the not knowing.
Wrapped in understanding that most things are truly out of our control. This doesn’t mean we are devoid of choices even in the most impossible of situations or when we believe there is no choice, think again there always is.
Every time this line of thinking comes up for me, I immediately go to the story of Paul, sitting in that dark, dirty prison all alone. Where literally beheading was his seeming fate. Yet he said “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Thess 5:16-18.
He wasn’t even touting the gratitude we use to change our attitudes like being thankful...
August 30. Shocking how life can change in an instant right. I mean nothing super earth shattering but I have the Virus.
My daughters and I all tested positive for Covid and are quarantined in our spaces to protect my son and husband. As of now the girls have bad cold symptoms and headaches, no fever. And I have what seem to be quite mild cold symptoms.
Which we are all very very grateful for.
So very odd how a sickness can affect people so differently. Right now we are doing all the things we can to take care of our bodies and just praying it stays mild and moves through quickly.
The quarantine is hard though. I would imagine many of you have been in this situation for one reason on another. And sadly the girls are due to start school on Wednesday. They will be missing the first two days of school which pardon my language, really sucks.
I choose to view this as another way to build the resilience muscle.
Looking for the silver linings like the girls only have to miss two days of...
August 25. Humility is an interesting word. Quite literally it means, “ a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness.” And I believe very much in the importance of this concept particularly for people who struggle with substance abuse and then get clean and sober.
The nature and underlying affliction of addiction truly is self-centeredness.
However, as I was taught early on, self-centeredness isn’t what I think of myself, but rather how often I think of myself. And in my active addiction I was thinking about myself ALL THE TIME!
I had zero self-esteem, didn’t think anything positive about myself, literally wanted to die all the time, but that was a lot of thoughts about myself.
In this place, we are asked to let go of that self-centeredness and ego and begin to focus more on gratitude and service. I don’t believe we are called to think less of ourselves or that we aren’t important, no. That’s not what this...
I’m Shelby and I am an alcoholic. I said that for the first time on July 1, 2002 and one day at a time, I haven’t found it necessary to use a mood altering substance since.
I was an alcoholic of the depressive type so the despair and desperation I felt prior to that date was so powerful and took me to the darkest places a person can go.
I hope I never forget that feeling. That’s why it’s so important for me to hear the stories of alcoholics frequently. And one of the reasons I LOVE working with sober women!
As a young girl I never felt comfortable in my own skin. You know what I mean right? I was raised in a loving family, played sports, went to camp, had the right boyfriend, given all the things. You know I checked all the boxes on the checklist!
As I grew up, I never felt good enough, smart enough or pretty enough for whatever group I was involved in leaving me in a constant state of disconnection. And then I found alcohol.
August 24th. It happened again. On Saturday I was out to breakfast with my husband after our lovely j-alk together. I ordered the shrimp salad because I don’t like breakfast food that much plus white flour is off limits in my program so the options are different.
It came with potato chips and this cute little plastic container of what appeared to be onion dip. Clever.
I enjoyed the salad and was munching on some chips with the dip and when I got halfway through I realized I was eating onion dip. And what is onion dip made with, sour cream. And what nutritional category does sour cream fit into? You guessed it dairy. And dairy is one of the three hard no’s on my program.
DH looked at me and asked if that meant I had to start over and I was like “No”.
I sat there justifying myself saying well I stopped once I realized, it was only a little bit, it was an accident. Have I not learned anything over the past thirty nine days? There are no exceptions on this...
August 23. The idea of relationships has been on my mind and heart for a good bit of time now. Because I believe it is the one thing as humans (besides the insides of our bodies) that we have in common.
We all interact with other people in some way. Even the most extreme recluse, has parents, gets food and clothing from a source, earns a living somehow.
Relationships are part of the human experience. And they vary in type and closeness. We have the most intimate people, our partners, our family, closest friends that make up the inner circle.
We go out from there with acquaintances, co-workers and neighbors, then even further out, people we see at the gym, the grocery story or post office.
What’s interesting is how as we go through life this changes. When we are young we attach ourselves to friends at school, people on our teams and our neighborhood pose. These are our people and we believe we will be best friends forever. That we will follow each other to college and never...
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...