Surrender

“That’s the secret to happiness and life: we don’t resist what is. We know that there aren’t any real differences between sadness, joy, anger, and fear. Each is a feeling–emotional energy. Happiness is the peace we get when we surrender to it all–being aware of and present for each moment as it comes.” –Melody Beattie

I read this the other day in ‘The New Codependency’ and it really resonated with me. I think I am starting to ‘get’ the idea of letting go of things that I can’t control. Surrendering to what is. Whoa.

Drinking was such a huge escape for me. My whole family does it; I wasn’t really taught to deal with things head on or feel my feelings. I was taught to withdraw, hide, pretend, and escape. I am finally realizing the error of this type of living…the harm it does to you and the people around you.

After I started realizing this stuff a few months ago, I started a campaign to make my family members understand the error of their ways. I thought that it would be simple. Speak the truth and it shall be revealed! Um, no. I was shut down in so many ways and basically denied. Called uptight, told I wasn’t really sober…ouch, ouch, and ouch. It reminded me of the way I used to feel as a child, way back when, before I started drinking as a way to alter my reality. In a way, I came full circle.

How many times does life give you the chance to meet yourself head on?

I realized this time that it isn’t my fault that I can’t change the situation. I can’t make my parents stop drinking or treat me the way that I believe I deserve to be treated. I can’t force my siblings to see that they are continuing the cycle of alcoholism that they hated when we were growing up. I can’t make anyone do anything. This time…it is okay. I do not have to beat myself up, chug the booze, or hurt myself in any way because of this stuff.

I feel a lot of empathy for my younger self now. I wasn’t capable of handling some of the emotions/situations/events that I was faced with, and it really doesn’t surprise me that I turned to alcohol as a way to deal. My toolbox was pretty empty back then. It makes me sad to realize that, but I also feel redeemed. I mean, I am not a total fuck up! I did what I had to do at the time. It just happens that it no longer works for this adult woman. This person who values different things and wants to grow and change.

So I am trying to surrender to what life brings my way. To me, that means trusting that life knows more than I do. It sure was hard work trying to control everything.

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Feeling PAWS-y

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Ugh. Of course I have a few shit days right after I write a SUPER positive post. Oh, life. Why you gotta be so tricky? I have been feeling really low energy, a bit depressed, and just blah yesterday and today. Then a letter comes in the mail with news that feels like a blast from my past. I am still dealing with consequences of living irresponsibly for a few years, and it sucks to face it when I thought it was OVER. I am trying to deal with it. I cried a few tears, vented to my husband, and am attempting to LET GO. There is nothing I can do about it until tomorrow anyway, and it really is kind of a misunderstanding. Sorry to be vague, but the details are super boring. Anyway, it made me feel the same way I USED to feel so often: Bad About Myself. I haven’t felt that way for awhile so it was a bit shocking.

So, I found one of my favorite quotes and thought I would share it with you all. I actually have a necklace with this saying engraved on it…I never realized how fitting it would be to my future sober self. If this is the lowest part of my day, then it really isn’t all that bad. I have a lot to be grateful for. I will say a prayer and remind myself of that.

 

Limiting Belief: Being Sober Isn’t Fun

Dear Limiting Belief,

I know that you believe that life without alcohol is boring and flat, but I am here to tell you that it is possible to have a great time sober. Alcohol never made things fun in the first place. It was an easy way to change your mood or to gain a bit of energy, but the good feelings that it created were short lived and fake.

You might have an idea in your head about the type of person who is sober while others are drinking. “What a bore! Must be totally uptight! Learn how to let loose and live a little!” The fact is, however, that many different types of people stay sober for a variety of reasons. You know what is crazy-sexy-cool? Taking care of yourself! Loving yourself! If you know that alcohol does bad things to your mind, body and soul, then not drinking it makes you smart. It is fun to be smart!

After you are sober for awhile you begin to realize that fun comes from within. It comes from spending time with people who ‘get’ you. It comes from finding things authentically funny and weird and awesome- which is totally life in a nutshell. It does not come from a bottle of booze.

Is it fun to say stupid things to people when you are drinking? No. What about waking up hungover? Um, no, not fun either. What about blacking out and not remembering how you got home? Scary, not fun. The list goes on…while drinking does make you feel a sense of euphoria, it can also make you sick and hurt and feel really bad about yourself. It can also do far worse things. Are these things fun? No, sir.

So you might feel left out sometimes when everyone else seems to be drinking. Does that mean that you can’t have a good time? Hell, no! You can do everything sober that you did while drinking, but in reality you might not want to. You might find that your idea of ‘fun’ changes a little bit. And that is 100% okay! It can be totally fun to stay home and read a good book or curl up on the sofa with a good friend and a cup of tea, chatting about life. These things are not wild and crazy, perhaps, but they are real and fun and good. You will probably realize that hanging out at bars with a bunch of drunk people isn’t actually all that much fun, and that if you need to be drunk to do something it likely isn’t a fun thing to do in the first place.

You know what is fun? Being yourself. Finding hobbies that you enjoy. Being creative. Taking real risks that don’t involve a crutch. Learning what makes you truly happy. Exploring. Traveling. Growing. Loving. Giving. Accomplishing goals.

Living life is fun! It’s your life. Free and clear and sober and authentic and messy and good and bad. So go away, limiting belief. Being sober IS fun and we don’t need you anymore.