BFB and HONY/Kindness and Insight on the Internet

The last time I wrote in this blog was very early in this blogging journey – 12 days ago.  (I still have not taken off the privacy setting but I may sometime become brave enough because I feel like so many bloggers have helped me).  I am slowly but surely opening up and being honest with myself.  I have learned it does feel good to write out your feelings.  I knew this as a kid and teenager.  But as an adult and mother, I have been reluctant to keep a regular journal, because of the fear of who would read it and when.  Ironically, now I am contemplating journaling for the whole world to see!  It is definitely against my grain.  I don’t think I would ever reveal my true identity if this became public.  But sometimes I think it wold be nice to receive and read the supportive comments I see on so many other blogs.  And maybe someday this blog could help others.  If I had not found through a Google search the numerous blogs I read regularly now, or the Yahoo group BFB, I doubt I would be on Day 14 of not drinking.  It is like something clicked.  It made so much sense once I started reading about other women and their decision to give up their wine.  I love the taste of wine.  I love the smell.  I like the way it flows when it is getting poured into a beautiful wine glass.   I love the first glass.  Unfortunately, it usually goes downhill from there.  If I have too much, my next day is accompanied by a headache and upset stomach, not to mention those days when I fear I have said the wrong thing, or hurt someone’s feelings, or embarrassed myself. It is just not that fun anymore!  I am motivated by my own heart, but my motivation has definitely been bolstered and strengthened by the kindness and openness of strangers on the internet!  It helps so much to know I am not alone, there are other people (moms like me and others) who have decided to live without alcohol as part of their daily lives and they are doing it. They are sharing their journeys and helping others at the same time.  The kindness and insight in the blogs I have read and in the BFB reminds me of what I like about my favorite FB page and website, Humans of New York (HONY).  Brandon a photographer takes photos of strangers in New York City, interviews them, and posts a quote or two along with the photograph.  Usually the photo and accompanying quote prompts hundreds of thousands of “likes” and “comments” from strangers who are touched by the post. There is usually a life lesson in each post too.  It is awesome.  In a similar way, while I have not told anyone in my personal life other than my husband that I have stopped drinking, I have received support and inspiration from a group of very kind and insightful strangers on the internet.  I am so grateful for this group – I may even want to nickname them – Humans of Sobriety on the Internet (HOSI).  Somehow it does not seem as catchy of as HONY, but I cannot express enough gratitude right now to Unpickled, Mrs. D, Belle, 6yearhangover, and so many others. So that is what I was thinking of tonight – two acronyms BFB and HONY – where kindness and insight on the internet prevail.

It Feels Good To Share

I am generally a very open person.  I am a people person.  I love people!  I think people are awesome!   I am talkative.  I am also a really fun person (generally).  Because I have 3 little kids, I don’t get out all that much at night, but when I do, I am fun!  I am close with my 4 adult siblings.  I am close with my Mom.  I have lots of people I could talk to, who love me.  I have lots of girlfriends who I am really close to who would be there in a heartbeat for me if I said I needed to talk.  I just have not been able to do so recently.  I can’t tell them all that I am thinking and feeling, especially about how hard I think it is going to be to stop drinking wine.  I am too embarrassed.  I have a lot bottled up inside of me (no pun intended).  I have lots of things I need to work through.  I have a best friend too, my husband.  I have talked with him a bit.  I told him about my goals, and that I wanted to stop drinking as part of them.  He is supportive.  I know I can tell him anything.  We have very different personalities though.  He is more reserved where again I am more of an open book.  But I have not been lately.  I have been more like the preview page on Amazon where they let you peek inside the book without showing you the whole thing.  It has been really hard lately because I have so much bottled up inside of me that I have not been able to talk about with anyone other than him.  And I even hold back from him because I don’t want him to worry too much.  I have told him I found an incredible amount of resources online to help me accomplish my goal of not drinking.  I discovered “Unpickled” on April 2 and ever since then I have been reading numerous blogs and listening to the “Bubble Hour” and I am amazed!  Then, after about 5 weeks, I finally started to take some action too.  I set up a new yahoo account under the pseudonym “via” meaning “on my way.”  I called this blog “Viatoday” to motivate me every day to think – “Today, I am on my way!” I posted for the first time in BFB yesterday.  I was so nervous to hit send.   But it felt so good to let some feelings out and share.   And then I got some really helpful responses back.  I started to comment on a few blogs I have been reading.  I wanted to tell the writers I am encouraged by them and to encourage them at the same time.   Again, it felt good to share.  I have not told anyone I started this blog.  I have not had the courage to change the setting on this blog from private.  So right now, I am the only one who knows it exists.  It is not very well-done and I don’t even think many people would read it if I changed the settings, but right now I am not ready to put this out there.  I don’t know if I will ever be ready.  But I am proud of myself for taking some baby steps toward getting some support and sharing with some people online who are going through this journey.  And I truly feel like I can breathe better after I share a bit and hit send.  It is so really helpful!  It is amazing to me the community that “Unpickled” and “Mrs. D is Going Without” blogs have opened up for me.  I am so touched and GRATEFUL and encouraged by others and all that they have shared and continue to share.  The kindness in this online sober community is SO SO refreshing and touching!!   I am feeling really motivated and it is because of people I may never meet in person, but I will forever be grateful for their example and kindness.  While I have only done so minimally right now, it feels good to share.  I am glad I have shared with my husband; and I am glad I am letting myself write down my feelings here and share a bit with the online community too.

A Little Self-Care and Day 1 of Not Drinking

This blog is still private and I am going to quickly post because I have been promising myself to either get a pedicure (or repaint my toenails myself at least) for weeks now.   I need to get started soon if I am going to accomplish this today.  It looks like it will be a home pedicure because I am still glued to my computer.   Then this afternoon, I am going to get my haircut and my eyebrows waxed.  At least I have that appointment made so I can’t talk myself out of it.  I am hoping a little self-care will help me feel better about myself.  And tomorrow I need to get to a yoga class!  I feel like I sound so spoiled right now.  If my husband read this, he would probably think so!  But I am really feeling down on myself lately.  I am hoping these actions help.   I really need to take better care of myself so I can take better care of my family.  I am hoping blogging helps too.  I spend a lot of time during the day alone and I am learning it helps to get my thoughts out of my head.  I have also taken some steps toward my goal of not drinking.  I have been somewhat obsessed with reading other blogs about quitting drinking and other related websites.  It is fascinating and motivating how much is online on this topic.  That is one of the reasons I started this blog, to document my goals and help me stay on course.  I decided yesterday 5/12/14 would be my last day of drinking (at least for a while and maybe forever).  With my husband’s somewhat questioning agreement, (because I have done this before just 3 week ago), last night, I opened a bottle of some really good red wine which we got on a trip to Napa.  I wanted to end my habit with some good wine and wine that had significance to me.  It was a great trip to Napa and we had a lot of fun.  In the years since we went to Napa though, I have simply started drinking too much wine and earlier this year, I decided I needed to cut back.  Now I think I want to quit altogether.  Discovering all these online resources in April has really helped motivate me (Unpickled blog, The Bubble Hour podcast, etc).  In April, I did have 20 days of not drinking, and April 27 – May 9, I had 13 consecutive days straight without drinking.  But then I decided over Mother’s Day weekend to have a few drinks.  I did not really enjoy it.  I liked much better how I felt on the days I was not drinking in April and May.  So I am going to quit drinking, and really make the effort this time, and at the same time try to accomplish so many other goals.  I am going to try to keep it as simple as that  – even though I know it is going to be really hard!  So I took some additional steps to help me along the way.  Yesterday, I signed up for Belle’s 100 Day Challenge at the Tired of Thinking About Drinking Blog.  And I commented for the first time (albeit anonymously) on a sober blog at the 6yearhangover blog.  (His writing is hilarious and really helpful in motivating me).  Today I also commented under my “Via” name for the first time under the Yahoo Booze Free Brigade.  And my biggest step was emailing Women for Sobriety for information.   I almost backed out on hitting send but I figure it can’t hurt to simply request some information. I don’t even know if they have local meetings but if they do I might try one.  I think it would probably really helpful to talk to other women who have also decided to remove alcohol from their lifestyles.  There are so many reasons I have decided that drinking is not for me at this point in my life, and I should not be embarrassed about this.  I should be proud!  But I am nervous about telling other people and how they will react.  I have decided to not go into a ton of detail and keep it simple.  I have so many other goals I want to accomplish lifestyle-wise that quitting drinking goes right along with them.  (OK, so this got to be a pretty long post after all – and it is a little all over the place and somewhat boring!).  But I wanted to document those steps.  I am feeling tired but motivated.  I am motivated to get healthy for myself, my husband, and my kids!  I love my family so much! 

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

One of my Dad’s favorite quotes was. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”  And today is for me.  Almost reluctantly, I am joining the world of blogging to document my journey.  If I have done so correctly, I have made this a private blog for now.  I will likely change that setting once I get some time in.  For now, I need a secret place to document my journey for myself.  Ultimately, perhaps this blog will become something more than it is today.  But today it is a secret place under a secret name where I can try to be honest with myself.  I would like this blog to be a place where I can document my goals, and ways I would like to get there, and my thoughts and feelings along the way.  My main goal is to be the best person I can be!  I would like to start living in a more healthy way: physically, mentally, and spiritually.  I want to use basic steps:  eating better, drinking lots of water, exercising (mainly yoga and walking), getting more sleep (7-8 hours per night), promoting my mental and spiritual health (living in the moment, staying present), generally taking better care of myself.  I want to do all these things so I can be a better “me” and so I can be a better wife and mother.  I want to go back to the basics so to speak.  Another main goal I have which I think will help with the above general goals is to give up alcohol for now and maybe forever.  So at times, this blog may be about my efforts not to drink.  It may become a lot about that depending on how hard it is to not drink wine!  I am really not sure where this will go or how this will turn out.  People who know me generally think I am a really good person, and I generally am.  But I have lots of room for improvement.  My husband is so supportive of me trying to accomplish my goals and my 3 kids love me unconditionally.  My family is huge motivation for me right now.  We have so many good memories already, and so many more good times ahead of us, but I need to take better care of myself and my precious family unit too.  I also need to love myself more and be there for myself more and cheer myself on – hence this blog.  Today is the first day of the rest of my life!  Here I go, on my way, with my chosen blog name – VIATODAY.