Dry Life · Journal

Laters, Alcohol!

Oh, the number of times I’ve said that in the last couple decades. And each time, I mean them, totally and completely.

My addicted brain, on the other hand, has a different agenda.

I’ve written about stopping in the past, and then ended up making the posts private or deleting them when the addiction “won”. I was mortified that I’d “failed” again, when in reality, the alcohol was just doing it’s primary job; keeping me addicted. I know I shouldn’t be ashamed of drinking; the well-worn tracks leading from “And then something would happen. Or nothing would happen.”* to drinking are deep in an imbiber’s brain, and training myself to bypass that automatic journey and create new tracks isn’t easy. Ask any drinker who swears “never again” at 3 a.m., and then is downing the drink of choice by 5 or 6 p.m., if not earlier.

Alcohol rewires our brain, and it excels at doing so.

Very soon I’ll turn 58, and begin my 59th year of life. (Excuse me while I faint at the thought of that – I’m still a teenager in my head). Maybe by writing about it more often and making the journey a part of my online presence will help, who knows. I just know I’m so over the struggle.

A lot of people do a Dry January, and then there’s the big one that I believe started it all, Dry July. There are hashtags for other months, too, but those are the only ones I can think of at the moment – how about #MocktailMarch? After the month is over, some go back to drinking, using that dry month as a sort of detox and reset, and then there are the others who decide to stay sober for good.

I’ve wanted that for so, so long. I’d make it a varying number of days or weeks, read endless books and blogs, even tried AA (not my cup of tea), and then I’d end up watching Intervention and Celebrity Rehab with a beer in hand, crying….

I vehemently dislike the concept that have 15 years under your belt (or any amount of alcohol-free days) belt, drink one beer, and suddenly you’re supposed to go back to Day 1. Not cool. That negates all the hard work done to achieve those 15 years, and by dismissing them, it just makes the person want to keep drinking because why the hell not, right? I won’t be counting days as it has screwed me up too many times before. Hence the beer in hand, crying.

I’m teetotaling up, and if you want to come along for the ride,

here’s a few things that might interest you:

There’s a plethora of sober bloggers out there, and a large number of Quit Lit books that have resulted from those blogs. I admit it, some of those books make me want to grab a glass of wine (not my go-to drink) simply because they wax on about it so much. And then there’s the occasional “I’ve been sober 7 days, lost 15 lbs, my chronic acne is completely gone, I just ran my first 5K, and I’m cooking at a Michelin chef 5-star level, too!” Bullshit. Run from those. Think fake influencer. You definitely don’t need anything that is going to make you feel like you’re not succeeding, when any day you don’t drink is a roaring success in and of itself.

-Aside: I do wish there were more than the occasional blog from someone still living with an active daily drinker. It’s not an excuse, but it’s really hard to shut off my addicted brain when there is always a beer in view. Extremely hard. It makes it very easy for that voice to convince me that it really doesn’t matter if I drink or not, so why not drink if everyone else is, ok? Add in the alcohol industry’s bombardment through the media and nearly every tv show and movie, aimed at telling and showing us how wonderful it is to drink (until you get drunk or overdo it, then you’re somehow the problem) and it’s almost a lost cause from the get-go.

The book that first gave me the most information about alcohol and its addiction is Under the Influence. An older book, but still very valid and enlightening.

The first “how to stop” I read was The Small Book, which is about AVR, something that newer authors have built on and incorporated into their own guides.

One of my favorite quit lit books is The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, and another is Between Drinks by a former professional drinker in Australia.

If you’re curious about AA, Russell Brand has a unique take on the program which he writes about in Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions. There’s also One Breathe at a Time and The 12-Step Buddhist for those with a view towards Eastern spirituality.

Belle has a 100-day challenge on her site, Tired of Thinking About Drinking, and Annie Grace has a book with a 30-day challenge, as well as other resources on her website, This Naked Mind.

I recently discovered that Twitter has a hashtag community, RecoveryPosse, filled with support and promoted books about sobriety authors. I know Instagram has a sobriety community, too.

Welcome aboard, and here’s to leaving alcohol behind!

Much love,

Pip 😎

PS: If you’ve followed me for a while and you’ve heard this all before, imagine how it feels to be in my shoes, or any other drinker struggling with this addiction. 🙏

PPS: For those wondering, no, I’ve never sent light while under the influence. That would be unethical as hell, and I respect (and am in awe of) what I do too much to mess with it like that.

PPPS: I almost didn’t post this today. I wrote it yesterday and in the middle of the night had a panic attack, wondering “what if I don’t succeed? I don’t want to be embarrassed again!”, and “Does anyone need to know this? Does anyone really care?” and took it off pre-scheduling. It won’t leave me alone, though, so here it is, for all the world to read. 😱

*Quote from 28 Days.

Dry Life · Energy Healing · Journal

What’s Your Oasis?

I was just sending healing light to someone, and sitting outside as usual, watching nature. I caught site of a ladybug frantically climbing up and down the weeds that we allow to grow around the birdbath. I thought she was an ant at first because of how she was moving. Then she climbed one stalk and paused in the fern-like thing at the top, but almost immediately turned back around and started her frantic pace again.

You can just see her hiding in there.

She climbed three or four other stalks, then ran back up that particular one that caused her to pause, and she’s been there ever since.

She found her oasis.

The light I was sending was for anxiety and panic attacks, and it just kept running through my mind: find your oasis, find your oasis.

So, I wonder, what’s yours?

©Pip Miller – May 2018

PS: this weekend was rough. Taking care of someone’s sick dog, boredom (extreme boredom), and that voice in my head was devious. Very devious. But I didn’t let it get the best of me. 🙂

 

Dry Life · Journal · Planners

Bullet Journal Month 2

Last month, after attempting to use my Malden as a Bullet Journal, I pulled out an old notebook I had and created my first true BuJo.

©Pip Miller
©Pip Miller

I set it up in the traditional way that Ryder Carroll shows on his website, and went at it. I loved having everything together in one notebook, but as the month went on, I started to notice some aspects that I wasn’t happy with, such as the dailies being interspersed with collections and other things, and I didn’t like having to go to the Index to find them. I also found that I really need a visual calendar, and my Future Log wasn’t working, either.

So last night I set up July, but knew I wouldn’t be happy with it, so I played with different hacks I found online (the BuJo community across social media is just as, if not maybe larger now, than the Filofax one!), and then set it up. On the left is what is known as the “Alaister Method“, which I set up on two pages (or a spread, as Ryder calls it), and I’ve already filled one page! On the right is the traditional way.

©Pip Miller

The Alaister Method with my signifiers.

©Pip Miller
©Pip Miller

The key to my signifiers. I’ve borrowed ideas from other BuJo users, and came up with some that work best for me. Aside, I never refer to the date that someone died on as an “anniversary”, always a “memorial”.

©Pip Miller
©Pip Miller

I took this from my Filofax and taped it to the very first page. SO helpful for me!!

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©Pip Miller

I came up with more ways to utilize my personal BuJo better (for instance, I don’t use weekly spreads as many others do), and the index will, as a result, have less of a “collections” focus, and more of a “where info re: this particular thing” is.

©Pip Miller
©Pip Miller

I use the # symbol to show that an item is included in the index (for instance, keeping track of dr appts).

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©Pip Miller

I’m very pleased with how I have it set up right now, and over the next month I will be paying attention to what works and what doesn’t. Once I finally nail down a system that I really like, I will purchase one of these gorgeous Leuchtturm1917 A5 hardcover notebooks from JB Welly. It will most likely be the purple one (swoon!) and with the Graph version instead of the dots; lines work best for me. 😉

Oh, the “sobriety” signifier…I added that because today begins the 100 Day (alcohol-free) Challenge. Woohooo! As a matter of fact, that upside down package in the picture of “BuJo-less” is the tea I’m drinking today. #makeminetea

©Pip Miller – July 2016

 

 

 

Dry Life · Health · Journal

Mission Accomplished

red-flower-pot-thank-you
Who’d a thunk it? Dry July was a success! When I began, I wasn’t sure it would be, but here I am, a month later, mission accomplished. Sweet!

Thanks for coming along for the ride, and now this blog will go back to the usual hodge-podge of this-and-that that I write about. 😉

©Pip Miller – July 2015

Dry Life · Energy Healing · Health · Journal

Dry July For Breast Cancer Countdown

Almost there, kids! Friday is the end of the month, and I think I am SO over alcohol that this was the best thing ever for me. 🙂

A few of you donated to Tamara’s Avon 39 Walk, thank you for that. I’d hoped to raise more money for her, but every little bit counts, so I’m happy.

If you’re considering taking time off from drinking, a great book to read about it is “Between Drinks“, which I reviewed quite a while here. No one is saying you have to stop across the board, but sometimes taking time off helps you realize just how much, and in what ways, drinking, even casually, if affecting your life and your health. I have pains that have disappeared, and except for getting sick last Monday, overall, I feel pretty darned good!

Breast cancer, on the other hand, is something that will not go away by putting down the glass, but doing so can help prevent it in some cases. More research is needed to see what more they can do to get rid of this cancer once and for all, so please, even though you may have been reading along to see how sobriety is doing for me, remember why I did it in the first place, and even if you can’t donate now, keep it in mind and do so at another time if possible. BTW, does anyone remember that site that allows you to click on it each day and a donation is made to breast cancer, or for animals, or reading…there are 5 or 6 causes you can donate to (without any actual money) just by clicking. If you remember, please comment; I want to promote that site in a post. Thanks!

My Sunday blog post had some questions (one is about my healing work) and no one responded. Lol. So here it is again in case you missed it. 😉

©Pip Miller – July 2015

 

Dry Life · Health · Journal · Misc · Videos

A Bit of This, Some of That

Bullet point blog. 😉

  • So….still feeling off but managed to go into work yesterday. As the day got busier, I became more tired, and as today is the busiest day of our month, I opted out. Eating only popsicles and crackers doesn’t lend one much energy, suffice it to say.
  • It’s the 26th; there is still time to donate to my friend’s Avon 39 Walk, and I’m still happily #dryjuly -ing my way through life. Yay! I had every intention of saving what I would have spent on booze this month and donating it, but I’ve ended up taking so much time out of work that it all went to bills instead. I still have time, so next month I will donate.
  • As I look at the bullet points, I’m reminded of this blog post, Dear Blogger, that totally cracked me up.
  • What are your thoughts on newsletters? I have mixed feelings: many want you to sign up and receive a free something for doing so, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to read more of their blog/newsletters in the future, right? There may just be something in that one particular post that caught your interest, right? I have a newsletter (though I haven’t written anything in it in a while) and I’m deciding whether to continue with it or not.
  • Recently, two well-known women’s Facebook accounts have been removed or frozen (I think there was a third, but I can’t remember who it is); Beth Owl’s Daughter, and Pixie Lighthorse. It all has to do with FB’s random “that’s not your real name” policy, and as we all know how I feel about FB, I chose to delete my account this morning, after posting that I would last night. I woke to this, and have been laughing ever since. I wasn’t that bad, but I’m sure I was close.;) It’s not the people; it’s the platform and their practices (such as were mentioned in Pixie’s blog). I’m not sure why this video isn’t showing up on its own, but check it out anway!

©Pip Miller – July 2015

 

Dry Life · Health · Journal

Notes and a Plea

Hello, again.

Sorry I’ve been MIA. First there was the back-to-work part, then there was an all of a sudden, out of the blue, holy crap, I’m sick part. That’s still going on.
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Ended up going to the ER to see what’s up, but no definitive answer. Taking meds that make me woozy and set the tremors to “nuts”, and am hoping things resolve soon, cuz I really don’t want to go back. 5 hours is long time to be in a hospital gown. 😉

I haven’t even thought about drinking, and when I see someone doing so, it’s not in the slightest bit tempting. How cool is that?

Well, just a short note, cuz the meds gave me a nasty headache, too.

Forge on, #dryjuly4breastcancer !!!!

Now, to the important part: I ask any and every one to please, please send prayers, healing thoughts, healing energies, whatever you can to my neighbor’s darling little girl who has been fighting neuroblastoma, and has just had a relapse. She’s about to undergo all the crap needed to remove the newest tumor, and it’s sheer torture for her. She needs our help, and lots of it. So please, in whatever way you do what you do, ask for what you ask for…do so for her. Thank you.

©Pip Miller – July 2015

Dry Life · Health · Journal

What Emotion Drives Your Drinking?

15 days today, kids. 15. I’m in a bit of shock over that, and at the same time, I’m surprised it’s been as easy as it has. I really expected many more days of really, really wanting a beer, but it hasn’t been that way. I mentioned back at the beginning of the month that I was going to pay attention to my emotions and see which ones drive the desire, and I’ve narrowed it down to one primary emotion: anger.

anger

Anger has many definitions, and I’m learning that my personal anger encompasses many feelings, most especially the feeling of disempowerment. It’s how I feel – quite often, come to find out – when I am in a situation wherein a complete lack of control over my own life is the overwhelming emotion. Situations when I do things to keep the peace, when I must work to pay bills and put food on the table when I’d rather be sending light or reading a book, when communication is so tumultuous and full of roadblocks that I just want to scream and cry with frustration…and on and on. I was unaware at how little control I feel I have, and how little satisfaction I am getting from my life. There’s a huge feeling of beating my head against a wall, and, even stronger than that, of keeping the peace at the expense of my own peace and serenity. One can’t say what really needs to be said to that particular customer who makes you want to pull your hair out, nor is raging at someone who drives you bat-shit crazy with sheer frustration acceptable, and that extreme need to express one’s self – yet not be able to – leads to the need to be all stabby; and as that is really not ok to do, that turns into a deep, dive-into-the-ocean desire for alcohol to make it all go away before you do or say something you can’t take back.

stabby

I originally went into this #dryjuly with the thought that any and all emotions and day-to-day experiences were what leads people (well, me) to drink, but I’ve learned differently. I don’t feel the desire to drink when I’m happy or content (though a hot summer day can make a cold beer sound really, really good), and the habit of picking up beer after work has quickly gone away (that surprised me almost more than anything else). Nope, it all comes down to being middle-aged and feeling that “is this all there is and is it always going to be like this?” will never go away. That I’ll die full of frustrated dreams, unsaid words, and an deep well of anger.

What drives your drinking?

©Pip Miller – 2015

 

Books · Dry Life · Energy Healing · Health · Journal

Energy Healing and Breast Cancer

Good morning!

books3I sort of took the weekend off from blogging, it seems. 😉 Saturday is my Monday, and not much happened worth writing about, so I just worked and then continued with a lot of reading I had done on my days off. I devoured ‘The Glittering World‘ in two evenings: it was equally spooky, creepy, a bit gory here and there, and ultimately hard to put down. I read til I couldn’t keep my eyes open both nights, and then Saturday I found myself looking forward to getting back into it when I got home, and then remembered that I’d finished it! It’s one of those books where you’re left thinking, “what happens next?!?!”. I wonder if there will be a sequel…

I haven’t been writing much about the energy healing I do, but today I thought I’d tie it and breast cancer together. The work I do releases trapped and stuck emotions, sometimes bringing them to the surface so they can be dealt with once and for all, and sometimes removing them in such a way that you don’t have to deal with them: I never know how it will work for each person as the work is actually being done by the person’s soul and “upstairs” – I’m simply the happy conduit. But it always does something. It may not always be immediately obvious, and other times it’s so obvious that you’re glad you were home when you received the light because that burst of crying as the emotions were released would have been really embarrassing at work. 😉

Calvin and Hobbes ©Bill WattersonBreast cancer comes about for many, many reasons, and on an emotional level it can be caused by feeling a lack of nurturing; that no one takes care of you, you do all the caring. It can also be grief, locked up and never let out. It can be because you lost your mother, or that your mother was one of those who never learned how to be nurturing and so your life was pretty much about taking care of yourself, or sometimes, taking care of her. Regardless the reason, the work I do can help. No, I’m not saying I can cure breast cancer – I would never promise something like that, ever – but it can help to release the stored grief and loneliness and sadness that can lead to the cancer. It’s a completely non-invasive method of alternative healing that can have far-reaching benefits with no medicine involved. Check out my pages under Heart’s Peace Healing…the gift of a remote healing session is a nice surprise. 😉

©Pip Miller – July 2015

Dry Life · Health · Journal

Breast Cancer and Alcohol: the Connection

Rather than write about me today, I decided to do some research and pull up some facts on the connection between alcohol and breast cancer, since, again, the point of Dry July is to raise money for cancers (am I getting that point across? 😉 ).

Right off the tip, DuckDuckGo pulled up an article by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which states in the very first paragraph, “A pooled analysis of data from 53 studies found for each alcoholic drink consumed per day, the relative risk of breast cancer increased by about seven percent. Women who had two to three alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer.” That’s a lot of percents! Most ‘normal drinkers’ will have a glass or two of wine nightly, and that 20% can add up quickly. Most ‘problem drinkers’ will jump down the rabbit hole and their percents are sky-high. It’s a miracle that I don’t have breast cancer, quite frankly. And I’m grateful beyond the tellin’.

berriesThis blog post pulls in information that states that, “For postmenopausal women even less than one drink a day was associated with up to a 30% increase in breast cancer mortality compared to non-drinkers.” Yikes. I’m heading in that direction, and a 30% increase is an increase I just don’t need, as I plan to live to be 110 and give my descendants a run for their money. 😉 I like how she mentions that one does not need to drink wine to get the benefits of Resveratrol – which, according to this article, you’d have to drink 1,000 litres of red wine daily to get, – and as for the atrial fibrillation, I know that there were many a nights when I woke to my heartbeat racing like a thoroughbred in the Kentucky Derby, and let me tell you, it’s one freaky, scary feeling when it doesn’t slow down no matter what you do.

Then I found a study that states no correlation in premenopausal women, but a definite one in post-menopausal women. Now one could conceivably think, “Yay, that means I’m ok!”, but the overwhelming body of research finds a correlation, regardless of age, between alcohol and breast cancer. Period (this raises the percentages more than in the Susan G. Komen article). So I’m with the woman in the blog mentioned above; stick with blueberries and grapes!

Breastcancer.org is full of all the latest info (as is Susan G. Komen); check them out. Educate yourself on this pervasive disease. And donate! The funds raised for the Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer ALL go for breast cancer. All of it. Be a part of something wonderful and help!

And thank you. 🙂

©Pip Miller – July 2015