In my endeavor to do five actions daily for 30 days, I completely ignored most of them in week 2. There wasn’t one activity I did consistently each day. I have no excuses. I just didn’t feel like doing them. The interesting thing though is I feel absolutely no guilt and actually feel better then I have in months.
I did go mountain biking twice last week and that actually propelled me up. As shitty as it can be at times huffing and puffing up hills it’s actually fun in a sick way pushing myself beyond my controlled comfortable numbness. There’s no faking it. It’s also a rush to try to stay balanced wizzing down a hill going over rocks and roots and trying to take sharp turns…all at the age of 54. You can hear me nervously giggle the whole way. And even though I’ve only gone three times now I feel like I’m improving.
I feel frickin alive. I feel challenged. I feel good.
“There is only one person that’s responsible for your life and that is YOU! Not your boss, not your spouse, not your parents, not your friends, not your clients, not the economy, not the weather. YOU!” – Marc Reklau
To recap from last week, I hadn’t been feeling very motivated and decided to challenge myself by doing five actions daily for 30 days. My goal was just to take action and make small changes that will improve my human experience. Here are my five actions:
Wim Hof breathing exercises – I’ve done this consistently every morning before I get out bed. It seems to help by clearing out my mind and putting me in ready mode.
Wim Hof cold showers – Yikes😀. To be transparent, I’m only doing my last 2 minutes in cold water. For me, I figured out soaping up and shampooing needs to be done in hot so I can wash it all out. Those last 2 minutes of cold water is definitely a challenge, and if you’re walking by my house you’ll definitely hear some hoots and yelps from this exercise. Once complete though, I’m refreshed, awake, and jazzed to start my day.
Meditate – This is definitely a work in progress from doing it laying in bed to sitting on the couch. I know many will balk at laying down, but this is my adventure : ) I haven’t been consistent each day, but when I have meditated I’ve gone for 10 minutes. My mind definitely gets off track and I need to real it back. Interesting exercise. I think this week instead of trying in the morning, I’ll meditate after lunch and see how that goes. That’s the time period I really need to reset to a better calmed state.
Eat better – So far this hasn’t happened. I’ve been inconsistently consistent.. We’ll see how next week goes.
Exercise – This is going well. Everyday I’ve done some form of exercise. I was hoping to mix in more weight training, but it’s been pretty much cardio. You all probably read my adventure Sunday mountain biking🤪. I definitely enjoy being outdoors.
Overall for week 1:
I have in no way beat myself up for not doing an action a “certain/prescribed” way or for missing days. Practicing being kind to myself.
I’m feeling more focused and much of life’s pressures weighing on me has lightened
I’m feeling better about me and not once did I bury my head under my pillow to escape
“There is only one person that’s responsible for your life and that is YOU! Not your boss, not your spouse, not your parents, not your friends, not your clients, not the economy, not the weather. YOU!”
– Marc Reklau, 30 Days Change your habits Change your life
For those who don’t know, I’ve been down/off I’d say for the last month and a half. All appearances I act and look fine, but behind the scene I’m doing a lot of lying in bed with a pillow over my head hiding from life and craving peace and to just check out. I’m not about to analyze all that here, but I am going to discuss next steps.
For me, I eventually get to a point where I’m basically sick and tired of being sick and tired, and realize I need to pick myself up. No magic fairy dust is in sight. I’m so beyond “these are interesting trying times”. So I came up with this 30 five ACTIONS idea to share out here.
Here are my five actions that I’m committing to daily for the next 30 days:
I purposely didn’t get specific on these. My goal is just to take action and make small changes that will improve my human experience. After each week, I’ll create a new post with an update on my progress. If you’d like to participate and come up with actions of your own, I’d love to hear about it in posts from you. The number 1 rule though is..there are no rules. Whatever works for you. Yours might be the 20 two actions. You get the point.
* This comes from my frustration with myself. If it kicks you in the ass a bit all the better.
Don’t you think it’s time to stop with the woe is me but things could be worse mentality? How far has that gotten you? How far? It’s time to stop the bullshit and create a new reality. You can create a new state of being!
Check out the book, Breaking the habit of being yourself, by Joe Dispenza. It’s helping me move forward.
**** 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 want to tell you about a dream I had. This was when my ex and I were still married planning out our divorce. A very hard time to say the least for both of us. One night as I was sleeping next to her I had the following dream. I’d come home and walked through the door. I looked across the room and my wife(ex) was completely white and shaking. She was so scared she couldn’t even speak. She was pointing around the corner. Like something beyond frightful was hiding. For once in my life I didn’t ignore it or run away. Without thinking I ran across the room, around the corner, and looked right at the monster and SCREAMED! After that I woke up.
Prior to quitting alcohol, I had a little voice within constantly asking:
If not now, then when? When? When will you truly live this life?
Are you happy about how you’re living? Is this the human experience you believe you were intended into this universe to follow?
What will be the biggest regret you’ll have on your deathbed looking back over your life?
Have you ever given your true self a chance?
I’m now 1 year sober sitting here feeling very proud, happy, and mostly just peaceful. Much of the guilt and shame is going away and self-love is starting to finally come back. I do want to say though, from my experince quitting alcohol and leaving the comfortable numb fog takes courage and tons of internal rewiring. There will be many mental, physical, and emotional battles you will face on your path. Some you will win; others you may lose. Regardless you will grow. Staring down your dragon will take everything you got, but oh is it ever worth it. Scream if you need to but wake up! If you need help get it! You won’t be alone. Don’t wait 40 years like me. It will be the most rewarding work of your life. Hell you’ll actually get your true life back. Lean in and have faith in that voice from within. It’s your guiding system – listen to it.
I thank you all for your love, inspiration, and support this last year and offer it right back!
From The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown: “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Please join me in supporting these beautiful brave souls: