Love and Vacation

Once again, i must apologize for not being more present on here.I have been spending much time with the new love interest (who continues to be more awesome every day) and just returned from vacation near Bushkill Falls , Pa. I’m gonna drop a few pics here because the place we stayed( second year now) is so amazing I call it a private Garden of the Gods. It is set on 32 acres of wilderness at the top of a mountain and the waterfalls are never ending- we tried to follow the stream as far as we could but eventually had to turn around! There were just so many! In the first photo you can see the cabin we stayed in and how close it is to 5 separate waterfalls right outside our door. But trust me when say there were more than we could count.

I , of course, brought huge suitcase full of art supplies as there is no way i would miss a Plein Air painting opportunity like this. The first day the water was running low so i was able to stand directly on the rock over one fall , and paint the one beside it..

Over night it rained and covered the rocks once again so i was glad i took the opportunity.

Anyway, here are few more pics of nature’s beauty from the site. Enjoy and namaste!

nature

Off the Menu

So, guess what? I met someone.

After staying single for over a year and making sure not to fall for any men who do not have my best interests in mind- something i have done in the past because i was pretty vulnerable and tended to over look obvious red flags- i am hopeful , and a little giddy- but still staying alert. Love during recovery is a tricky thing.

Once i decided to become sober , i watched all the classic movies about sobriety, read all the literature and committed to taking on year minimum to find my self without all of the booze clouding my judgement or using it to cover my own issues( or theirs). It was a wise decision.I got my financial ducks n a row, bought a house of my own, and feel a renewed sense of value and self esteem. It didn’t happen over night.

During that year, many men vied for my attention , mostly online. I almost fell back into an old pattern . I was not used to being alone and i was going through some pretty serious esteem issues. But, one by one i was able to avoid bad decisions. Sure, i was lonely, and at times almost talked myself into things, but i am so glad i waited and prayed – ALOT.

I know not everyone reading here is religious.And i realize that it won’t resonate with everyone. But my daily prayer was just this “God, please send me the right person when you feel the time is right. I will wait. Please give me a sign so that i know because i want your will and not my own. I will not push, and i will not accept less. I will wait -for you and your will for me”.

And i believe ( hope) he has answered.

The most amazing and unique person showed up out of the blue. Someone i would never have otherwise noticed or believed i would be with. An odd ball , like me…Being a skeptic, i let him in , willing to be friends first and see how it went getting to know him through long walks, etc.Eventually he came over to spend the evening painting with me and there was definite chemistry. Something i haven’t felt in years. Everything went perfectly. He passed every test.

While it’s too soon to be sure, i am just very excited. I finally feel that my head is clear enough and that i am in the right space to make better decisions. None of that would have happened if i hadnt given up my weekly binges, and gotten my life straightened out.

So , for anyone out there who feels alone( for any reason), who is struggling with alcohol or any addiction, and/or wondering if you will ever find love again- be patient. Try to be vigilant not only with your mindset but your choices. Watch for and do not ignore red flags. And be upfront about what you do and don’t want from the onset.

I believe there is someone for everyone. My fingers are crossed,and i still feel a bit hesitant , but my spirit is finally lifting a little..

Namaste.

Sober Psychology

I haven’t talked much about my sobriety in awhile and while waiting for a business call this morning i started thinking about what the differences are between being sober and being in recovery.

An online article from Psychology Todays states:

“When an alcoholic is “sober” from alcohol without attending a mutual-help program, therapymedication management and/or treatment then they are in a sense “white-knuckling” their sobriety (also referred to as being a “dry drunk”).”

“An alcoholic who is in “recovery” is essentially in remission from alcoholism. Their alcoholism is not cured but is at bay in a way that allows them to be free of the cravings and mental obsession.”

I’ve never really thought much lately about where i am in my journey, but happy to say, according to the above, i am definitely in “recovery”— Mainly because of the last 7 words there “free of the cravings and mental obsession”. It’s odd to me now, letting that sink in. FREE.

For the first 30 days, i couldn’t even comprehend that feeling. Every week i would dread my usual drinking night What would i do? How would i get through it? Then 3 months i started feeling a bit more confident, by 6 months i was really on a roll and finally hit that one year milestone. I almost felt “cured”. I was elated and so proud of myself! Now, at 17 months , i have to say that once again the psychology has changed.

With full transparency here i will admit that during this pandemic i have had a few drinks .One 3 occasions i had 2 -3 beers and those were actually nice peaceful relaxing evenings. Do not regret them one bit. But i also had my first major slip – after a particularly horrendous and stressful few weeks , i drank an entire 6 pack one night and paid for it the next day. Certainly reminded me that , yes, indeed, i am still an alcoholic. Although i do not crave it, and it is certainly no longer an obsession, if it’s there i will drink it until it’s gone or i get sick/pass out. I have no control when there is more around.

What does this mean for me at this point? Well, i can say , still that i rarely ever even think about it. I can say with absolute clarity that it’s not a factor in my life anymore. But the best way to put it is that i have completely lost that desire to do it to get drunk or numb things out. If this makes sense, i do believe having a beer or two with a friend i trust every now & again is not ‘terrible’…as long as everything else( above) is still in place.

I see people talk about moderation a lot, and i always say- thats a really slippery slope.Not many can maintain that for long. That certainly isn’t what i’m talking about here. I know i could never “control” myself that way. I’ve had much time ( years) to prove that . But i do believe in relaxing a bit when the occasion calls for it.

It’s a tough little place to be in the grand scheme of things but we all must walk our own walks. I’ve known some that stayed sober for 10 years or more, then relapse. I also know those who go “dry” for a few months, then drink again, then stop again ( on & on for years).I know those who stop and never have a sip ever again. And many of us know those who have no real intentions to quit, except for a week after a horrible hangover. We are all different.

I wish i was, however, one of those who could drink “normally”.I cannot. I wish i could chose “moderation” on the regular.I cannot. These dreams are usually the Holy Grail of all alcoholics. The brass ring, the dragon we chase, etc. And it’s almost never an option for us in the long run.

While we continue on our journey, we have to re assess regularly to see where we stand in our own lives. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves. And constantly stay vigilant. Our relationships ( of all types) will change and grow as, we , ourselves do. In times of stress, crisis, depression, tragedy, circumstance – we will tests ourselves and sometimes come out wanting. But my hope is, that in the end to REMAIN vigilant.

Namaste.

The Protests , the Rioting and the Effects

Let me start out by saying if you missed yesterdays post, please take a moment. I only had one comment so it may have been missed. On the other hand, it may be that many do not want to look at things of this nature, because they will be “upset by the unpleasantness”. Trust me, i am also upset by it, and more so because its right in my “back yard”.I cannot NOT look.If you do- take all of your usual and current problems and add this scenario in. That is life here now.

That being said, i wanted to expand on things that are generally not being widely addressed because of the extreme urgency of the root cause( racism & division), as well as the danger( violence & destruction of property), and the very real pandemic going on( we are still in various phases of lockdown & re opening around the country ). I acknowledge those things, have been outspoken about them and people know where i stand. So that’s that.

Here i want to talk about the domino effects:

  1. How is this/ will this affect our children
  2. how is this affecting our alcoholics and addicts
  3. How this will affect our economy
  4. How this is affecting those with mental health issues

First, Our children. Right now some parents have kept their kids protected from much of the news. Those that are fortunate enough not to be in direct lines of attack. Those who can get away from the bad stuff and live in relative normalcy ( for now). Ive seen a few posts, and been asked a few questions about how to explain this to children in these situations and when is it appropriate to do so. On a personal level, i look at my grandchildren- ages 4 &7 who have this advantage. A part of me feels that it may not be necessary to get into detail about the destruction and horrors going on at the moment as long as they can be kept away from it and safe. But most certainly the root cause can be addressed in an age appropriate way . But the other part of me wonders how fair this isn’t to children who are in the line of fire daily. Those in the cities being destroyed. Those who are being directly affected by racism. Those who cannot escape the daily reality of their situation. I cannot begin to fathom being their parents.How do you explain the myriad of reasons a child needs to stay indoors all the time? why they cant go play like normal children , or like they used to? What are all the noises going on outside their window?

Second-our alcoholics and addicts – speaking here only to those receiving treatment and support. Right now, there is very very little access to either. Many are and have been homeless. Shelters are disinclined to accept anyone because of the virus, and doctors are only available online.Meetings are on hold. The over dose death rates are climbing rapidly. What can be done when the entire nation is dealing with all of the disasters and help is impossible to find?

Third-Our economy. I am talking about down the road. Right now it’s at best unstable. Down the road it will be even worse because of it.Our elected leader is amongst the 1% elite and therefore cares very little about how it will affect the middle/lower classes other than acknowledging a loss of minion workers who support his empire.Right now, he is sheltering in a bunker, ordering thousands of militia to take to the streets to kill anyone who might resist his agenda.He is not comforting , or addressing the causes, or trying to find an appropriate solution for the long term. It is an election year so instead of helping his people, he is focusing on what he can do to be re- elected. Our economy has been tanking for his entire tenure in regards to the little people, while his own industrial empire grows and profits. Yet, somehow, he has convinced his supporters that it’s “good for them, too.” Now, because of a lack of concern for so many underprivileged and/or marginalized people , he has no clue how to deal with reaping the discontent of what his actions sowed. We are doomed.He will wind up KING of nothing but a nation destroyed.

Fourth- Mental Health- suicide is also on a steep incline in this group also. From those not able to get through the loss of income, a lack of social interaction, lack of support and not being able to cope with the world around them falling apart.many cannot even get their medications. They are feeling helpless . They are feeling uncared for. They feel invisible. Even in the best of times , its still tough. But now- my heart cries for them.

It seems i have no answers( like 90% of us) and that we are all stuck involuntarily in this nationwide war.

Other issues include those with pets not being able to care for them any longer and putting them on the streets. Shelters cannot take many in and those that are in cannot be adopted during the crisis.So they are destroyed. Also, those with terminal illnesses like cancer- as this goes on, providers become even more overwhelmed trying to deal with the myriad of new recommendations, new rules, new technology, and loss of actual contact with many patients who must take online interface appointments .And of course, this still struggling with the ineptness of our “unemployment compensation” departments.

We need answers. We need solutions. We need cohesion.

Namaste.

And So It Goes….

This is a video of last night in my city. the one i just moved 2.3 miles away from. It happened only 7 blocks from our old place.

Not sure how many of you out there can access it as it was filmed and posted originally on Facebook and then reported as a link in local tv stations website.if you can view it, check out the comments off to the side and if you can, it will give you a clue of what even the smaller cities, like mine, are dealing with. This was the first organized protest, and there are others planned.Thankfully , this one, aside from the spurt of violence at about 4 minutes in, remained mostly peaceful. In addition , there is much being posted about possible KKK marches very close by. This is our daily life right now. I know many of those in the video personally.

I hope wherever you are right now, you remain safe and healthy. We are all praying for this to come to a peaceful end.

Namaste.