Follow-up: How I got and stay sober

**** This could be triggering and the F-bomb is definitely tossed often. ****

For those who have followed me for a while, you have already heard most of this so please feel free to skip : )

So I actually just got asked this question via my Contact Me Form from an old friend. Believe me when I say I wanted to go there in my 1 Year Sober post, but my anxiety was just fucking with me so bad. That post was about my 6th version with some explaining more and others not saying much. I’ve heard from other folks when you approach that 1-year mark you almost psyche yourself out. All week I worked on it and my emotions were all over the board. I ended up treating it like crossing a marathon finish line and just celebrating how far I’ve come. It was an excellent day and thank you all for the love you showed me.

It is hard to figure out where to start, but let’s try with jumping in where my life was beyond shit. Sounds fun, eh? This is what I label The Fall.  Every great story starts with a great fall and a struggle not to get back where you were prior, but instead to move to that place where you, yes you, intended yourself to be in this universe.  The interesting thing though it was more like a fucking swat down.  I had just gone through a divorce after being married for 16 years and with two teenage kids.  Since I’m not running under an alias out here in blogland, I won’t go through all that.  Suffice to say it sucked, royally!

On top of that, I had $35,500 in debt coming from trying to establish rental incomes for retirement.  It was also from continuing to sell and moving into new homes and spending tons of money to remodel them. Looking back it most likely was an activity we focused on to keep the light off our unhappiness. The irony is we had to sell our “big house” after the divorce and move into our two rentals. Oh, and they were only two houses away from each other. I can literally look out my kitchen window and look up the hill and see her house.

For three years afterwards it was just a constant tornado whipping sadness into my life. In my first year, I was just in shock and denial. I put on a fairly good show of holding it all together, while inside I was balling my eyes out.   In the second year, the wheels fell off and I had an emotional breakdown. I couldn’t get myself out of bed and all I did was sleep. Depression and I go way way back. In year three, I lost all hope, screamed a lot with my head and hands pointing in the air, and started trying anything to get me out of my hell.

How I abused alcohol

You’re probably thinking you didn’t mention anything about alcohol above so what gives? Well, if you think about oxygen all around us and needing it to survive that’s what alcohol had become for me. I started it at age 13 and mastered the art of drinking the poison and becoming a champion binge drinker. My life revolved around when I could swill 10 plus beers in a session and escape reality. And believe me, those 3 years right after the divorce were the worst binge sessions ever. It always started and ended the same way. I’d do the very least possible to get through my day just to reach 4 pm. The tunes would be cranked up, the first beer top popped, I can still hear it now and commence the gulp gulp gulp. Beer two and three were working like a charm. The fog was coming through the front door just nicely. Beer four and five I was numbing up. The dragon had finished its job and left leaving me to my own demise. Beer six and seven not as easy, but man work through it because this numbing takes a lot of alcohol. You don’t want to stop now. Repeat again with eight and nine. At ten and above it was hard to say when I’d stop. It always ended the same though. Tears. Tons of tears of how shitty I was, how shitty my life was, and what an embarrassment my existence had become. Many nights I just wallowed in this state for another few more beers. Clank, clank, clank, clank. Somehow I’d take care of my doggies, god knows how, and stumble into bed fully clothed and pass out. This fun experience would be practiced three to four times a week. Four if I was lucky, HA!

How I got sober?

So in paragraph six we get to an answer. No idea if it will be a good one or not. I tend to tangle up words and trip up a lot, but I’ll give it a shot. I often think I’m boring the shit out of others and they’re like get to the fucking point already. Living with depression, I’d read just about any self-help book in the hopes to quickly fix all my problems. You ought to see my kindle. Anyway, I stumbled upon Wayne Dyer when I was around 33 and it was about the same time Wayne was exploring his spiritual side. Now don’t jump the gun and think I got all holier than thou and Jesus saved me. But I did explore a church, around year two after The Fall, that welcomed everyone and believed in many masters such as Jesus, Buddha,…I will admit it did help at the time. It introduced me to the concept of I’m a spiritual being having a human experience and god isn’t “out there on a cloud” but rather the great spirit is within and all around us. So as shitty as my binges were going, there was a flicker of light starting within.

After cranking up my binges for three years it got to a point. I was lucky. I definitely didn’t feel lucky at the time, but I realized that the one thing that brought so much comfort into my life was now causing the most pain. It’s your tipping point. Even if everyone else saw it prior and you lived in denial it doesn’t fucking matter. What matters is you finally reach that point. The thing is if you never reach this point you will die either literally or figuratively. So for me, this was the point I finally start falling uP! I was still swilling brews but a seed of wisdom had been planted.

I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. Forty years of abuse will do that to you. I was sick and tired of waking up hungover, dehydrated, and trying to function throughout my day. I was sick and tired of the self-negative ego talk. I was sick and tired of hiding behind a beer bottle and not living a life. I was sick and tired of being lonely and crying my eyes out. I was sick and tired of the pressure to man up and not be a …! There has to be enough sick and tired’s to slow down the pendulum to eventually start getting it to swing the other way. Motivation won’t be enough. It must be a knowing that enough is enough. I started leaning into that flicker of light from within. I read at least ten books on getting and staying sober. I started following other sober bloggers. As I mentioned in my other post it was Annie Grace’s book, This Naked Mind, that helped confirm that for me alcohol is a poison and I can’t control it. It was a big fat lie society had been helping me pour down my throat for years. On February 16, 2019, I reached my beautiful tipping point.

How do I stay sober?

Again it’s that knowing within that keeps me sober. Sure Annie’s booked helped educate me, but there’s a huge difference between being book smart compared to gaining knowledge by experience. My above experiences finally led to this sober point. I was very fortunate to not have any physical withdraws and the emotional triggers I do have I can usually swat away. It does get much easier. I don’t go to AA, but I know many who do and swear by it. My hat is off to anyone who reaches out for help. It shows great braveness, self-love, and wisdom. The next piece are my practices that help keep me grounded and sober.

I know some are curious so here goes:

  • I get outdoors. I live in the beautiful state of Colorado up in the mountains. The mountains, trees, and big blue sky speaks to my soul. I get so much joy from a hike that it is my therapy.
  • I belong to this wonderful community online. It’s a loving community where nobody is judged and everyone is supported. The Fall taught me empathy and this is my passion now.
  • I have my own spiritual practice that reconnects me to my soul. If I had to label it’s shamanic based.
  • I follow a minimalist lifestyle.
  • I force myself to get out of my home and get social, let me be specific, with loving souls.
  • I stopped hanging out with negative and mean people even if society says I’m supposed to look the other way and be loyal, fuck that!
  • I attempt to catch my ego and tell it I disagree with that ridiculous statement. That’s my rewiring.
  • I tell myself often I love you Dwight Hyde and believe it. Self-love.
  • I have this fire lit within to improve many areas of my life and know by steadily taking my time walking with love I can accomplish anything.

Well, that’s it for this post, folks. I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted. I hope it helps someone a bit. I now treasure The Fall and bond with those who also came out on the other side. When in doubt focus on love.

I painted this April 19, 2015, a couple of months after moving into my rental and just a couple of months prior to the divorce becoming official. One of the lowest points in my life, but even then I knew love would be my guide.

 

Love Never Fails❤️

Dwight

 

Reminder: You aren’t the odd one out!

We have to remind ourself often that life doesn’t come in a perfectly neat wrapped package with a bow. Appearances aren’t always the reality. Life is complex with the ebb and flow of good, bad, and tragedies.

Our soul will eventually be listened to. The Falls or darkness right now may actually bring more light into your life in the long run. Sometimes we can’t understand but we can’t give up! By all of us opening up and sharing our stories, we can connect and realize we aren’t alone. Many of us have had the same experiences and can share how we’ve coped and grown from them.

Life can get pretty messy, but together we can help and support each other. You aren’t the odd one out! Trust me.

Dwight

Secret tears

I have a secret. Well I guess it won’t be after posting, but here goes. Not sure what triggered this urge to share other then feeling much love from you all on some comments and the next thing I know this memory pops into my head.

While my daughter was in high school she participated in choir all 4 years. This involved me going to the auditorium twice a year to go see their performances. I indeed did support my daughter, but the thought of dragging myself out of my sanctuary was always a bit of a rub. This was also when I was binge drinking periodically so brews were off the table for those nights. It was also after my divorce, so sitting alone wasn’t something to look forward to. Sometimes I got lucky and my son would join us.

Anyway, I’d go. As the lights dimmed In the auditorium I’d start feeling more relaxed and my nerves would calm. One by one the girls would walk out and line up on the bleacher stand on the stage. I’d closely watch each one enter from the side checking to see if it was my Allie. Once they were ready the choral director would signal to the pianist. There would be a small pause and then the first note struck and then beautiful voices would fill the air.

At that very point each time, my heart and soul would just dance and melt together. It brought me back to my youth like a time warp. As I watched each young soul on stage I thought of their beautiful beautiful beautiful innocence. I heard the sound of love coming from their voices and was just overwhelmed. I’d wonder what would happen to them once they left high school and how would life treat them. Would their dreams come true? Did they have dreams? How was their life up to this point? All these thoughts flowed in my head with again such innocence and wonder in them. What such great potential and love I saw in each one. As their voices sang loud and soft so did I. The walls within me slowly fell away, if only briefly, and I saw the angelical light surround them all.

As I sat and listened in that auditorium, I was thankful for them and that the lights were dimmed. For each time tears would flow down my cheek❤️

Life is so good and so precious,

Dwight

Shit show

***If you have a gag reflex don’t read.  Go to another post***
Setup

Today was the mowing of the weeds.  Picture tall weeds sprinkled with clumps of grass and the smallest width push mower you’ve ever seen in your life.    And the sun is baking on my neck.   It’s total joy joy! Not!  I humor myself by saying it’s great exercise and a great workout for a guy like me who sits behind a computer all day.  Plus I only have to do it 5 to 6 times a year.   (Had to stop here and will fill you in further down)   Okay, anyway I’m mowing away and had finished a section and decided to stop and go inside and drink some water, since when I bent over to pull up an extra hard weed I got all light headed.

ACTION

I open the front door and…You ever have one of those experiences where you smell something and it takes you back to a memory?  Like apple pie and grandma or hay and your grandpas barn.  Shit like that.  Well the door opens and my nostrils flared and I knew.  I mean I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what it was.  My eyes lowered from the door knob and gradually expanded out from the living room carpet all the way into the kitchen and just as that memory popped into my head it was confirmed.   Shit, shit, and more shit.  Big shit.  Little shit.  Squirt shit.  Dog shit.  OMGGGGGGG!!!!   I was brought back to when I was podding training some of my pups years ago.

2 + 2 = a lot of dog shit

When I put 2 and 2 together, I figured out Boris’s system had a very hard time with the CAN of dog food I’d given him the day before.  He always only eats dry dog food.  He’s getting up there in age and has terrible anxiety and hadn’t eaten in 2 days.  I was desperate so I went and got the chunkiest most fat flavored can of dog food I could find.  I brought it home and to my surprise he ate the whole thing.  Life was good!  Boris was back to eating and I had found the solution.  Looking back I have NO FUCKING idea why I gave him the whole can.  Yes, I’m a male and a dumb ass.  Totally agree.

Filling you in now from above

So I spent two hours cleaning the SHIT out of the carpet.  Scraping, spraying, and sponging.  Repeat.  I didn’t freak out though.  Hmmm….maybe because it was my doing.  I took Boris for a walk and left him outside for the rest of the day and then brought him into his pen for the night.  I start typing this joyous tale and all of sudden I hear a bunch of whining and scratching.  I walk out to the kitchen and once AGAIN my memory sensor is activated.  Nope.  Not the barn.  Nope.  Not the apple pie.  Yes the dog shit.  More of.   Poor poor Boris.  Go ahead you can say it.  You weren’t here.  I think I’ve become a professional dog shit cleaner upper today.

Conclusion

Boris is now out in the garage for the night, but don’t worry.  There’s a big dog cushion and more importantly a dog door to the backyard.   I’ve got a candle burning, listening to the washing machine, and trying to finish this up at 11:41 PM.    I’ll end with a picture of my handsome Boris who I truly feel sorry for having such an idiot for an owner.  Tomorrow is another day and come Monday I’m taking him to the vet.  Hopefully we can figure this all out.

Smell you later,

Dwight

Plan B………….No

How many of us go through life with having plan B’s and even plan C’s…and then end up living them? Some call it having a safety net.

I’m beginning to Get It that having a safety net isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Living and wondering what if isn’t much fun and isn’t living!

What if just for once you didn’t have a safety net? What if your only way to move forward was to make your PLAN A WORK? How would that change your life?

Have you ever been in a situation where a plan b wasn’t even an option? If you’ve been in those types of situations as hard as it was you realize how much growth came from that experience and satisfaction gained going for it!

Next time you have to make a decision. Think about this. Go with option A and give it 100%. Don’t back down as ugly and as scary as it might become. Tell the other safe options to kiss your ass!!!

Don’t settle. Keep looking up and moving forward!