Friday, August 25, 2017

30-Day Sobriety Solution Journal: Day 30 & 60 Days Sober!

30 Day Sobriety Solution: Day 30
OMG. Here I am! I made it to the end! Well, as soon as I finish these action steps, I'll be done. And at 3:00 am, I will officially be 60 days sober! I should be celebrating, right? Don't get my wrong, I am proud of myself, but I have been in a depressed mood all day. I even cried a little. In fact, I haven't really been in a good mood all week. After thinking about it today, I think it is the fact that I really am about to achieve my goals of 60 days sober and finishing this program, and I'm actually scared. I'm scared of the idea of deciding never to drink again, and I'm scared to drink again. I don't want to fail either way. Does that make sense? After reading today's chapter, I have to make that choice... so here we go...

Action Step #1: Decide on your plan for the next 30 days regarding drinking:
Technically, now that I've finish my commitment of 60 days, I have said I will give myself permission to drink, but I have no plans to drink Day 61. And I don't have to drink! That's the point, right? I do know I will be out at bars for college football next weekend though, and it may be one of those moments when I want to "test the waters." I know they suggest waiting 6 months, but I don't think I am quite there yet. This was the plan going into this. I will definitely journal about my feelings, how much I drink, where, and with whom. I don't think the not drinking alone thing is very fair to someone like me who is single. But I get it, and I will do my best to avoid that. I definitely have no intention of drinking how much I used to. I plan to have club sodas and lime in between drinks (that is if there are even multiple ones) in case that habit of continually sipping something kicks in. I won't be doing shots and I will be hanging out with people who are aware of and respect that I am cutting back. I will check myself for cravings. I have decided that no matter what, I will do 30 days sober every January no matter what. I will honestly ask myself if I am moving closer to my old behavior and if I am moving closer or father  from the person I want to be on a weekly basis.

Action Step #2: Write down how and where you want to give back over the next 6 months:
I already volunteer for an annual city-wide event, which I will continue to do. I have in the past volunteered for the annual city festival too, which is coming up, so I will make sure I will do that as well. I will be signing up for an 8-week program that puts me with a team to do weekly projects in various areas of the metro. This will be a great way to meet new people and discover different volunteer opportunities to find what I feel passionate about. Once I go through the program, I will sign up for new opportunities.

Action Step #3: Design my new "Happy Hour:"
I sort of already have a daily ritual. I have been walking and listening to and memoirs self-help audiobooks at least 6 days a week. I have not been so good doing a lot of the continuing action steps lately. I want to get back to practicing gratitude, and I want to do the Deepak & Oprah meditation programs I purchase a few years ago that I have yet to successfully get through, starting with "Desire and Destiny." Yes, I have had this for years, and it literally says "Discover your purpose, follow your passion, and become the person you were born to be." As much as I struggled with this yesterday, I think calming my crazy brain and working on the questions they provide each day is what I need!

Action Step #4: Review my "before me" and before photo, keep journaling, and take a moment to acknowledge how far you have come in this program:
I definitely plan to keep journaling. It may be more in my actual physical journal than here, but I know for a fact that journaling is a valuable tool for mental health too. Um, I don't think I took a before picture, but I know I've lost weight, but I've been working on that in earnest too, so it's not just from not drinking. I could have definitely switched out alcohol for food! I feel better and look better in some ways, but unfortunately, my face is breaking out more, I still have some sort of allergic reaction going on on my face, and my digestive system is still not quite right. So that's kind of a bummer! But I know realistically going back to how I was drinking would not help any of that! I read my "before me" and that reinforces that. And hey, now... I did it! I am officially finished! And in less than 30 minutes, my 60 days is official. I have to say, that since I walked this afternoon, thought about why I was feeling down, and finished this just now, I am feeling a lot better.

Now that I am finished, will I be signing off "until tomorrow?" I can't promise that I will blog every day, but I plan to keep this up. I will also continue to try to pop into the companion site, and as I read and listen to other helpful books or find other resources, I will share them here. Thanks for following, and I hope that it has helped others on this program.

Until next time...
Aspiring Reformed Party Girl

Thursday, August 24, 2017

30-Day Sobriety Solution Journal: Day 29, Part 2

30 Day Sobriety Solution: Day 29, Part 2
Ugh. I'm still really wanting to put this off, so let's just get right down to it so I don't put it off any longer! I'm just going to go through these questions, and write whatever comes out of my head.

Action Step #1: Write a life purpose statement using the 4-step Life Purpose Exercise:

1. My Passion: 
  • What excites you? Nothing. (Here in lies my biggest problem.)
  • What are you passionate about? Nothing. (Here, my problem continues.)
  • Think about your happiest memories from childhood to now. I always think about being in show choir in high school. I loved it so much. And placing in our first national competition. But that was almost 25 years ago. I also think about the time I was in LA to shoot a commercial. It was such a great time. But I was drunk almost every night celebrating being there. I know I have had may memories, but most of them seem to involve alcohol. But the question did not say that it had to be sober memories.
    • What was it that made you feel most alive? I don't know.
    • What emotions did experience? Pure happiness. Pride. A sense of accomplishment.
    • Did you feel joy, happiness, fulfillment, freedom, love, or an authentic connection? I felt joy, happiness, fulfillment, pride.
    • Who was there? Well, in high school, all my high school friends were there, and  lot of our parents, and a bunch of people we didn't know! At the commercial shoot, I didn't know a soul. They were all new people, but all of us "talent" in the commercial became fast friends. 
  • What are you doing when you lose all sense of time? I feel like I lose sense of time all the time, but I'm usually on my computer or watching TV, or playing games on my phone. I do tend to lose time when I am on vacation doing touristy things. I always think I have more time, and it takes forever to see everything and I then don't get to see everything I wanted!
  • If money wasn't an issue, what would you do? NOT WORK! lol I'm not sure. I guess if I had a bunch of money, I'd go spend it! I'd get a new car, a new house, new clothes, some cosmetic surgery, and the go on a bunch of international trips. There we go, that's what I would do.
  • What are your biggest accomplishments? Already mentioned, because they are the happiest moments of my life. Placing in the national competition in high school show choir and getting on a commercial a few years ago after losing a bunch of weight.
    • What made them significant? Winning. Getting chosen. Feeling accomplished. 
    • Was it how the accomplishment made you feel, the differences you made, or the challenges you had to overcome? How it made me feel. But as for the commercial, i was also proud of the challenges I had overcome to lose the weight.
  • Have you had to overcome specific challenges and through that process realized you can help others do the same? Yes. For a while I blogged about my weight loss journey, and I liked being an inspiration and giving people hope and advice.
Now, look for common threads such as emotions, people or experiences, and determine your passion. I am clearly selfish. I want to feel accomplished. I want to perform. I want people to look to me for winning and my acheivements. Ugh, right now I do not like myself.

2. My Talents and Strengths:
  • What are you good at? Well, the problem is I don't think I'm really that good at anything. I always say I am a "jack of all trades and master of none." I can do a lot of things, I'm not not all necessarily talented at them in my mind. 
  • What would others say you are good at? I mentioned yesterday that I reached out to a couple of people via text. The 3 people I figured would respond did so. Two of which are my parents, and i think they are biased. The others have not responded, and of course I am feeling hurt. Like maybe they can't think of anything I am talented at either, or maybe they just don't like me anymore. Jesus, I am so down on myself. So here are the things I'm supposedly good at:
    • I'm creative and have an eye for design
    • I'm good at organizing events
    • I am disciplined once I set my mind to something (I think I may have someone fooled! But hey, I have been disciplined lately not drinking and committing to this program!)
    • I'm generous
    • I'm loyal
    • I think before I act
    • I am always seeking answers
    • I am able to analyze other's intentions, needs, actions, etc
    • I give people the benefit of the doubt
    • I am kind
    • I am loving
    • I am thoughtful
    • I am smart
    • I sing like an angel
  • How do your strengths and talents relate to your passions? Well the creative part and the singing part relate to performing. The event planning relates to my wanting to feel accomplished.
  • Do you believe you have a specific talent or strength that you haven't taken the time to develop? Yes, like everything. All these things that I can do, but I'm not that great at. But I feel like I don't have a true passion for them because I don't have the drive to pursue them full on.
  • Thinking about your happiest moments again, what strengths or talents were you using to create them? Being disciplined, singing, and being creative, perhaps.
  • Write down at least 3 top strengths before moving forward:
    • creativness
    • event planning
    • Okay wait, I thought of one that I can't believe my parents or my friend didn't say! Everyone always says I am so funny! So my sense of humor.
3. Your Legacy
  • What lasting difference or contribution would you like to make in your life? I have no idea. (More of my problems.)
  • What are you doing to create that today? Clearly nothing, since I don't know.
  • Are you making a difference in your current job? Sort of, but not directly. Some of the things I do help create continuous improvement initiatives at the college I work at, which in turn creates an environment that allows students to graduate, which for many is a huge dream.
  • Are you making a difference in other ways? I used to participate in a monthly charitable event. I used to donate money on a monthly basis, but don't now. I donate money to causes when asked t the grocery store here and there. I participate in an annual volunteer event.
  • Is there a way you can do more of that? I can start donating money again instead of spending it on me. I can get involved in the monthly charitable event again. I have looked into doing a volunteer series and doing some monthly hours at a local community center (so I guess I'm not totally selfish after all.)
4.Your Life Purpose (a two sentence statement based on steps 1-3):
Using my creativity, event planning skills, and sense of humor, I bring joy to the world.

That's all I've got. It's a first draft. Clearly, there is more work to be done on figuring out my passion and purpose. Now, Christ, this is the longest amount of work! That was all just for action step #1!

Action Step #2: Get clear about what you want by visualizing your ideal life in the areas of the "Vision Compass:"

Work and Career: My ideal job would be running a successful blog that paid well, and doing extra work in the movie and television industry as well as commercial gigs. I am a freelance worker, so I work from home. I determine my own hours, and I am my own boss, except of course when I am doing extra work. Someone else is running the show there! I am able to use my creativity and sense of humor. I feel creative, successful, happy, carefree, and accomplished. Managing all this is easy and I am energized now that I am clear-headed.

Finances: My annual income is over $200,000. There is plenty of money in savings, and I am investing in various areas. My net worth is is $500,000. I save so much money now that I am not throwing it away on booze and bars. My ideal home is a townhouse (so I don't have to take care of a yard!) that is modern and brand new in the city. I have been able to decorate it to my exact liking. My artwork is one of a kind that I have picked up at various shows and festivals. I drive a Lexus convertible. I have a large walk in closet with tons of shoes and clothes. I am able to buy new shoes and clothes every month from whatever store I want. Money is no object!

Free Time and Recreation: I go on many international vacations, including to Italy, France, Spain, Germany... just freaking everywhere I have never been! I take weekend road trips to Chattanooga, Asheville, Charleston, and more. Closer to home, I go to musical theater, the opera, museums, art galleries, sporting events, fundraisers/benefits, and all the many restaurants. I am able to have a few drinks here and there, but I have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude when it comes to alcohol. Oh and I do a bunch of things that I already wrote down on Day 26.

Health and Fitness: I am happy and full of energy and vitality. I am flexible and strong. I drink at least 80 fluid ounces of water every day. I run again, participating in the occasional 5K. I go to dance class. I at least try new ways of being active. I only eat until I am truly full and enjoy every bite. I am at my ideal healthy weight. My blood work is perfect. My blood pressure is normal. My body is functioning at its optimum level and is disease-free.

Relationships: I have made many new friends that I can do a variety of things with. These friends are low maintenance and drama-free! I have met and fallen in love with my soulmate.

Personal Goals: I attend personal growth workshops. I work on fine tuning my passion and purpose and aligning my life with that. I am learning new languages. I have learned to play piano again. I am trying new things and enjoying old things that I had stopped doing for a long time. It is easier to accomplish these goals with a clear head.

Contributions to the Larger Community: My community is supportive and mindful. I am surrounded by peaceful, interesting and fun people. I do various volunteer work throughout the community that help me feel needed and helps those who need assistance. I also volunteer in the arts.

I know I should have gone into more detail, but that's 7 freaking things. And I am all over the top about my financial situation.  Who the hell makes that much money blogging and being a movie extra? I know, I'm not supposed to worry about the how, but I was supposed to be super detailed. Back to my issues in step #1, I don't really know what I want or what my passion and purpose is, so how in the hell am I going to be that detailed? 

So an hour in, and I am now in Step #3.

Action Step #3: Write a vision statement that sums up each of the areas. Write them as an affirmation. Include your core values from Day 10. Include strengths, talents, etc.

Honestly, what I wrote for work and career and finances is over the top. This seems stupid. So I'm going to bring it down to reality and be vague BECAUSE I DON'T REALLY FREAKING KNOW WHAT I REALLY WANT AND WHAT I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT AND THIS IS PISSING ME OFF AND MAKING ME SAD AT THE SAME TIME. I don't feel like effing little unrealistic little happiness affirmations are going to help. And this is way too much work for one day for me. I feel like working on my passion and purpose is an entire book of at least 30 days on its alone. So I'm going to find a book about passion. Meanwhile, here are my half-assed stupid statements because I said I was going to be 100% committed. I didn't say I was committed to doing it 100% perfectly. I committed to 30 days sober and finishing the program. That's it. So let's do this...

Work and Career: I use my creativity and sense of humor in a job I love.

Finances: I make lots of money because I am a good person and money grows on trees.

Free Time and Recreation: I do a lot of things to enrich my life and others' lives.

Health and Fitness: I am healthy, and skinny, and clear headed.

Relationships: I have great friends and I am married to my soulmate.

Personal Goals: I work on my passion and purpose daily to better myself and keep my mind working.

Contributions to the Larger Community: I do various volunteer work throughout the community that help me feel needed and helps those who need assistance. 

Yeah, I didn't use any core values. I didn't use strengths because, gee, after an hour, I am still not confident about what those are!!! Imagine that! Let's just get on with this.

Step #4: Write down your "why" (what drives you to keep going in life in spite of obstacles):
I don't know. I'm stubborn. It's the only life I have and the only thing I know. I don't know when it is going to end, and I want to enjoy it, not suffer as I had been. I am a good person, and I care about people and the world, and want to honor that. My parents. I don't know what they would do without me.

Oh thank god. I am freaking done. I am having a total aversion to this. I feel like I should have this all figured out. I don't. And it's not going to happen in one freaking day. Make that two, since I started this chapter yesterday. I need this broken down in chunks. Seven different areas of my life, all in one day?!? I'm over it.

Until tomorrow (peace out)...
Aspiring Reformed Party Girl

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

30-Day Sobriety Solution Journal: Day 29, Part 1

30 Day Sobriety Solution: Day 29, Part 1
Geez, I am struggling to want to do today's action steps or any of the (what seems like thousands of!) ongoing steps I should be doing daily. I managed to get the chapter read. It took me a damn hour. I'm so close to finishing the program, yet I'm still supposed to continue doing at least 15 of these steps on the daily? talk about feeling overwhelmed. And doing these life purpose type things, like today's action steps, scares the crap out of me because I, honest to god, don't know what the hell my purpose is and I don't know what I want. I don't know if what I want is for selfish intentions such as attention or because I think that's what my family or the world at large expect me to do. And just tonight, I was watching another freaking show on the Laci Peterson murder (yes, I know, I am not supposed to be taking in that negativity, but damn it if these types of shows don't fascinate me!), and I thought to myself, what was Laci's life purpose? She was freaking murdered so young and with her unborn child. Did she really have to die for the rest of the world to learn some sort of lesson? What about anyone whose life is needlessly cut short by disease or just plain evil? This is where I get stuck in the whole everyone is born with a purpose thing. Several of my drunken journal entries over the years have pondered these thoughts, wondering why there are people who are desperate to live and do good for the world, when I just sit here like a bump on a log with nothing I'm passionate about, no burning desire to start and take care of a family or heal the world. Surely I am not here to be take care of my cat? I'm not even really that good at that. So here I haw and hem and struggle. Looks like today is going to be another two-parter.

I did make an effort. As part of action step #1, it was suggested that I ask friends and family what my what they think I am good at and what my unique talents are over the next few weeks. Well, I shot off a few text messages, and unsurprisingly, I heard back form the three people I knew would respond fairly quickly. My mom, my dad, and my good friend who is really into self-actualization type stuff. So at least I start. At least I read the chapter. And I've been thinking about the questions in the action steps in my head. At least it's a start. But of course, today got away from me, and I just couldn't wrap my head around this tonight. It's an important one, and there are several items to consider under the 4 action steps. So, yeah... I'll try tomorrow.

Until tomorrow...
Aspiring Reformed Party Girl

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

30-Day Sobriety Solution Journal: Day 27 & Day 28

30 Day Sobriety Solution: Day 27 & 28
So today should have been my last day of the program. Whoopsies. Instead, I sort of went off the grid there for a few days. The truth is that I had plans right after work on Friday, and I didn't get home until after midnight. I did actually read the chapter for Day 27 when I got home, but I was falling asleep while reading it. So technically at least I did something on Friday. When I saw there were 5 action steps though, I decided that since Day 28 was a review day, I could just do the 2 days together on Saturday. And that's whoopsies #2. I again had social plans and some errands to do, so time got away from me, and again I didn't get home until late. I was exhausted and just couldn't commit my brain to doing any action steps. On to whoopsies #3. Sunday. I just plain old, flat out did not feel like doing it. So Saturday and Sunday, I didn't do any work on this. I didn't read my Total Sobriety Solution, didn't do any breathing exercises, didn't wake up and list what I am grateful for, etc, etc... I did nothing. And you know what? For part of Sunday and today, I was a little blue. Perhaps because I didn't do all the positive things I'm supposed to be doing? Perhaps. Also, Day 26, The Love and Relationship Solution, just doesn't seem to really apply much to me. You'll see in my action steps. But here I am, making myself do them...

Action Step #1: Write down all the negative impacts drinking had on my relationships:
The only things I can think of is that I was doing less social things because it was cheaper to drink alone, and in the few short romantic relationships I was in, I just know that we both drank heavily, and it was an issue. My romantic partner did not, however, see it as an issue. Because I do not have a family of my own, I don't live with my parents, I have a small circle of friends, and I live alone, I really made it easy to not affect my relationships so much. There were no promises to anyone that I didn't keep. I know in my 20's and 30's, there were a few things that might have hurt my friends, but I am no longer friends with those people, because they drank just as much, and hurt me as well.

Action Step #2: Listen to the Merge Meditation:
Yeah, I couldn't even get through that. Just like the exploding head one (or whatever it was called) and visualization in general. I am horrible at it. I don't know what the drunk me looks and with all my senses (seriously, what does drunk me taste like?!? LOL). I can't seem to visualize anything crystal clear. It's all very vague. I guess this is just one of those solutions that is just not going to be in the set I keep up.

Action Step #3: Create a list of relationships I need to clean up:
As I stated in action step #1, I don't think there are any relationships I need to clean up. In fact, there was one friend I hurt in my 20's that I went to great lengths to apologize to, and the others have been out of my life for over 10 years. The person I was and how I behaved back then is different from now anyway. I still have to say I forgive myself in the mirror each day when I do remember something stupid I did that hurt a friend, so the only person I need to keep working on cleaning up a relationship, is with myself. I am lucky that I did not have a spouse and children to hurt.

Action Step #4: Write down my broken agreements:
I have never agreed to someone that I was going to cut back or quit in the past and not done it. The only thing that I have agreed to many times is making social plans, and then backing out because I just did't want to, would rather drink by myself at home, or was too hungover. I can't pinpoint all the times, the specific event, and to whom I backed out on. And the truth is, I still back out of social engagements when I am sober, just not as often. That's a part of me trying to do the social things I think I should do, and then realizing I don't have the desire and I don't want to deal with the social anxiety.

Action Step #5: Make a list of everyone I spend time with and then rank those relationships:
Because this blog is anonymous, I don't want to write out the actual names of my friends. I have honestly stopped hanging out with my party friends a while ago because I gained a lot of weight back and didn't feel good about going out with them anymore. My circle of friends has gotten very small, and only two of them go out drinking every weekend, yet they don't pressure me to drink. In fact, I went out with them to dinner finally on Friday, and they had less than 2 drinks and went home when I did. All of the few other friends that I have have do not drink nearly as much as me, so I am trying to hang out with them more! I don't hang out with my parents or any other family members because they don't live here. I actually want to make more friends, but what is different is that I want to make friends that don't like to drink a lot, whereas before I think in my head I wanted more friends that drink more than me so I didn't look so bad and I had an excuse to drink excessively!

Now technically I need to do Day 28 as well, and it's a review day! Yay. Oh dang. I guess I actually should review. So I am going to go back through the companion site... at some point, but it's getting late tonight. But not so fast, I did promise on Day 26 that I would listen to the "Rediscovering Your Joy" guided process on review day. And here we are. It's funny because I already thought about this topic today, as I've been listening to Rachel Hart's "Take a Break from Drinking" podcast during my walks, and in Episode 25 Creating vs. Consuming Fun, and she asked listeners to think about a time when you were not drinking where you created your fun. I can think of times I tried to put together a community play of "Annie" (but only ever deciding on who would play what part and never getting much further than listening to the record of the cast recording), or making up lip sync routines, or designing buttons and gizmos out of paper, cups, and crayons to tape to the side of the picnic table to turn it into our spaceship, or playing waitress (because this was my dream job as a child), or riding bikes, or playing on the slip 'n' slide. All things that sound great to kids. None of it seems quite as exciting as an adult. (Okay, maybe the slip 'n' slide.) I know I can create my own joy, but it's not exactly the same as the last time I didn't drink. I was under the age of 18. Now I'm in my 40's. I get it, I get it. It's just not an exact correlation. I think to myself, yes, I do like creative things, and yes, I enjoy going to the museum without a drink, but is it the most fun and exciting? No. What was more fun was going out for drinks afterward. So yeah, I'm still struggling with this.

Until tomorrow (hopefully for real this time... haha)...
Aspiring Reformed Party Girl

Friday, August 18, 2017

30-Day Sobriety Solution Journal: Day 26

30 Day Sobriety Solution: Day 26 - The Positive Addiction Solution
Very nice to see another more fun action step for the day. Interesting that I was just thinking of things I wanted to do earlier today on my walk. The trouble is sometimes I "get in over my head" involving myself in too many things all at once and get overwhelmed. There are a lot of things I want to try or do, but I will have to make sure to space it out, yet make sure that I'm not doing any of them at all! So on to develop that Positive Addiction solution...

Action Step #1: Start exercising:
Once again, I am ahead of the game! Woo hoo! It is going on my 7th week of walking at least 6 days a week at least 3 miles, save maybe a few days I did 2.5 miles. I want to start varying what I am doing because when it starts getting darker and colder, I won't be as motivated to get outside. I used to go to this dance class that I really liked, and I just haven't gone back, so I think it's about time I add that in.

Action Step #2.a.: Review the 101 new activities list and write down all (and any others) that interest me:
This one also ties in with a concept from the Naturally Slim program (that I talked about yesterday) as well. One of the principles states that we have to get our vital needs met or we will turn to food, or in many people's cases, alcohol as well. We chose 7 from a list that are important to us. Mine are personal time, sleep, time alone, financial security, learning something new, having a project, and humor. I can definitely make sure some of these are met by participating in many of these activities. Here's what I would like to try:
  • Practice smiling.
  • Learn how to read music again.
  • Learn how to play the piano again.
  • Learn how to play the guitar.
  • Take dance classes.
  • Research places to travel.
  • Watch funny videos, standup, movies, on YouTube, Netflix, etc.
  • Take a class online or locally or both.
  • Explore more area parks.
  • Become active in Dining for Women again, or even start your own chapter.
  • Find other groups to be a part of.
  • Maybe take a yoga class. I keep saying I a can't stand it, but I've barely tried, and everyone talks about how good it is for mind-body connection and recovery.
  • Spend more time with inspiring and positive friends.
  • Continue redecorating my home.
  • Actually go to some meetups besides just the one you have gone to.
  • Do a random act of kindness without expecting a thank you or recognition.
  • Take an improve class. Maybe. It kind of scares the crap out of me, but people always say I should do it cause "you're so funny!"
  • Create a collage of Natasha, my cat that pass away last year. I've been meaning to do that.
  • Go to musicals and/or operas.
  • Go to museums, art galleries, the zoo, or the botanical gardens.
  • Plan and go on a weekend road trip.
  • Attend a Falcons game.
  • Join or start a book club.
  • Reach out to a friend from my past to reconnect... not sure who though.
  • Find free speaking events in my area.
  • Join Toastmasters. Again, it scares me, but maybe it would be challenging.
  • Take singing lessons again.
  • Join the Sweet Adelaides chorus.
  • Attend a recovery program meeting. Not sure I really want to. But I've thought about it sometimes.
  • Take a cooking class.
  • Finally finish (or really start!) my vision board.
  • Go to a comedy club.
  • Do artistic things: Do your painting project. Try to do acrylic pouring. Maybe take an art class. Do more adult coloring books.
  • Randomly stop what I'm doing and do 10 jumping jacks, pushups, situps, planks, etc.
  • Take tennis lessons to see if you might like it.
  • Consider joining a kickball league. But maybe not. I'm not certain I am actually good at that.
  • Get involved with a non-profit. 
  • Sign up for a seminar or conference.
  • Try knitting again.
  • Take a self defense class.
  • Take a tai chi class.
  • Consider taking tennis lessons.
  • Sell some stuff to start one of these things that cost money!
  • Hire a life coach or career coach.
  • Figure out what your passion is.
  • Figure out what job you really want.
  • Try a new aerobics class or get a new aerobics DVD.
  • Try photography again.
  • Learn how to make a font.
  • Make jewelry, like that fused glass stuff.
  • Get your Master's degree. Maybe.
  • Take a friend out to dinner.
  • Brainstorm other sobriety rewards for future goals.
  • Sign up for 5K's again.
  • Clean your car. PLEASE CLEAN YOUR CAR! LOL
  • Write a thank you letter to someone who has had a positive impact on your life.
  • Buy new clothes.
  • Learn to speak Spanish. And I want to learn Italian too. I should really relearn French too since I already did that in high school. Maybe that's all too much. LOL
  • Write down what you would tell a tourist to see here and do it yourself.
  • Learn to play chess.
  • Play on your Wii again!
  • Go to the lake. You have never been to the lake in the over 17 years you have lived here!
  • Do karaoke again.
  • Try to be an extra in the movies filmed here.
  • Audition for a musical.
And here's what I have already started doing:
  • Walk outside.
  • Listening to audiobooks when I walk.
  • Listen to audiobooks and or read memoirs of people in recovery.
  • Listen to audiobooks and or read memoirs of funny people (comedians, etc).
  • Started a blog on a topic I am interested in. (This one.)
  • I will be pampering myself at a spa as a reward when I am 60 days sober on August 25th!
  • I have been checking out Groupon, ScoutMob, and Goldstar for things to do! (I just need to actually do more of them!)
  • I allow myself to be silly. That is no problem!
  • I just took a friend out to coffee that I haven't seen in a long time.

Action Step #2.b.: Pick one activity and do something right now to get started:
So I actually went and looked for spa services I could chose from on Groupon for my 60 days reward. I also looked up Laughter Yoga (mentioned in the book). Not sure about that. And I started a Pinterest board of "Things To Do."

Action Step #2.c: Make a recurring appointment to remind me to add new activities to my life:
I set up a reminder in my google calendar once a month to come look at this post and take some action on some new activities.

Action Step #3: Listen to the "Rediscovering Your Joy" guided meditation on the companion site:
100% honesty here. I didn't do it. Today has entirely gotten away from me. It's about to be 3:00 am, and I need to go to bed! I promise to do it on the Review Day Solution, which should be coming up soon, right?

ON A SIDE NOTE... I just had a breakdown because I thought I had completely deleted this entire entry after working on it for over an hour and it being so late! I am tired, and at first couldn't figure out what I had done. I was so far from discovering any joy at that point! My poor brain needs some serious down time after that freak out!

Action Step #4: Set relaxation and entertainment goals:
When I am consciously setting goals or deciding whether or not to do something, I will ask myself "what is the outcome I want from this activity?" Whatever it is, as long as it is positive, gives me that internal permission to go for it!

Until tomorrow (AND GOOD NIGHT!)...
Aspiring Reformed Party Girl

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

30-Day Sobriety Solution Journal: Day 25

30 Day Sobriety Solution: Day 25 - The Mind and Body Solution
Well, I am ahead of the game on today's Mind and Body solution! My company and my health insurance have partnered to pay for a program called Naturally Slim for those that qualify, which I did. The program started on May 1st, so I had already started on changing my eating habits well before I decided to quit drinking. Yes, I was even losing weight when I was drinking excessively, and surprisingly my weight loss slowed down when I stopped drinking. I was a bit disappointed, but I suppose I ended up replacing alcohol with more food. I am still losing weight though, and I am down 35 lbs! I'll elaborate more on the program as I work thorough the action steps.

Action Step #1: Drink lots of water:
Yay! I have already been doing this! I actually drink "orange water." Seven parts water to one part orange juice not-from-concentrate. The goal is 60 fl oz a day, which is a bit less than suggested in the book for my current weight, especially if I calculate in exercise. I do drink sparkling water in the evenings in addition, but I haven't kept track of how much extra that is, so I will try to aim for 80 fl oz a day.

Action Step #2: Keep a food journal:
Yay! I have already been doing this too! This is part of the Naturally Slim program for the very same reasons... awareness. And if things aren't going well, you can go back and take a look at what you have been eating. I use the Naturally Slim app for the program, but in the past I have used MyFitnessPal which is free!

Action Step #3: Make small changes to your diet:
Well, I have made lots of changes due to Naturally Slim already. One of the principles is to try to avoid sugar. I had actually cut out sugar easily in the beginning. Here and there I would have cravings. Even when I stopped drinking. But then I decided that one of my rewards for staying sober would be a special dessert once a week. I now find I am craving sugar more! It's crazy! I am still following the principles of the Naturally Slim program, so that is is what I will continue to do.

Strangely, after losing 35 pounds and being over 50 days sober, I have recently been dealing with new issues... an unexplained allergic reaction, acne, and digestive programs. Everything I read keeps saying how when you quit drinking your skin, digestion... everything heath-wise!... gets better as early as a few weeks! Well, not for me. At least not yet. I know logically I am actually healthier, but it's been frustrating. One thing I realized is that I felt like crap a lot when I was drinking excessively, but almost always chalked it up to that. Now that I'm not drinking, I am paying attention, perhaps I'm even being a bit hypersensitive to my body, and asking what is causing these things now that I'm not drinking? Maybe it's just a lot of changes for my body over the last few months, and it is still adjusting. I'm not saying that going back to excessive drinking is the answer. I just think that every body reacts differently. So, if you're not feeling 100% amazing by day 25, don't feel alone. I do feel better (with 50 days in a row without a hangover alone!), but I am not yet feeling this 100% amazing in the health department like I read I should be, and I'm trying not to let that get me down. It will come with time.

Until tomorrow...
Aspiring Reformed Party Girl

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

30-Day Sobriety Solution Journal: Day 24

30 Day Sobriety Solution: Day 24 - The Meditation Solution
Bear with me here. I'm all hopped up on Benedryl! Feeling a bit loopy and drowsy here! I'm having some sort of allergic reaction, so I took the day off of work to rest. I'm having a hard time even doing this, so trying to be productive at work would be just a waste of my energy... or what I have left of it!

Today's solution is about meditation, another topic I have already made a foray into. First, I've had therapists ask me to try it over the years. I also still have chapter 45 dog-earred in Eat Pray Love about chosing a new simple sanskrit mantra, "Ham-sa," which means "I am That," and how she finally had a breakthrough in her meditation experience. I know, by now, may people think this book is cheesy and clique, but for someone who rarely every finishes a book, I finished this one. So that means something! I took on this mantra when I would try to meditate combat my crazy thoughts and anxiety when I was trying to go to sleep. I still use it sometimes to this day, but I am not very regular about doing it at all. In addition, after a very traumatic break up in early 2014, I tried to do a free Oprah & Deepak's 21-Day Meditation Experience. I never got through the whole thing, but when they had a sale on a bundle, I ended up purchasing several of their 21-day experiences, including Creating Abundance, Miraculous Relationships, Free to Love, and Desire and Destiny, thinking if I bought them, I would do them and I could do them on my time instead of the limited time of the free version. Wrong. I have bet to finish any of them! I even bought more when I started having sleep problems (7 Days to Restful Sleep and 7 Days to Relieve Stress and Anxiety). I haven't even finished the 7 days ones! I do often use the meditation that is to be used before bed on day one of 7 Days to Restful Sleep, and sometimes it helps. I was even thinking that after I finish this program, I should really commit to doing those meditations. Well, I guess I was right. :)  But for now, on to today's action steps!

Action Step #1: Practice breathing:
I did this as I was reading the chapter. This kind of breathing exercise is also familiar to me. In my early days of therapy, many many moons ago, my therapist taught me to breath this way when I was feeling anxiety or panic. I also use it to calm myself down when I am trying to fall asleep.

Action Step #2: Listen to the guided meditation and start meditating 10 minutes or more a day:
So right as I am getting ready to do this, the landscaping crew comes right by my house with their loud weed whackers and leaf blowers. haha And this whole drowsiness thing did not help! I kept dozing off and jerking myself back awake. Once I'm off this Benedryl, I will make a better effort to do meditation.

Until tomorrow...
Aspiring Reformed Party Girl