Stay weird, my friends!!

LOL!! Hi!

Okay my fellow sober friend sent me this meme today and I can’t stop laughing at it and it’s making me so happy. It’s fuckin hilarious BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!

A lot of people seem to think that giving alcohol the boot = things like being serious, boring, shy, un-fun, etc. Incorrect! Once I started to really get the hang of not drinking, which I would estimate took me about 100 days (Belle would be so down with that estimate), I could slowly start to feel more and more authenticity oozing out of me on a regular basis.

I feel like every sober person I know would more or less agree with me on this statement – I have learned more about myself in my 5.5 years of not drinking than I did in all my years getting pissed. I finally really started to learn what I like, love, and am FUCKING OBSESSED WITH with respect to the world, other people, myself and life as a whole. The fucks I give went WAY DOWN, although I probably gave fewer fucks than the average person to begin with, but still. My bravery and spontaneity increased, too.

So what I am saying is stay weird and have fun figuring out who YOU are. I personally think it’s easier to do without all alcohol’s empty promises and chaos.

Have a good week!

May Long Weekend.

Ah, May Long. The prototype binge drinking occasion of my past. A weekend to drink as much beer as possible. A time to get falling-down drunk, dip into malnourishment, think it was hilarious, maybe cry about a bunch of drama, and then suffer post-shit-show depression on Tuesday, because of course I was getting day-pissed all day on Monday, too. By Wednesday, though, I’d be feeling a bit better, convince myself it wasn’t that big of a deal and be ready to rock & roll again. Repeat cycle of feeling like a piece of shit.

I shit you not, one year my friends and I drove out to the camping destination mid-week before hand and BURIED beer like it was the Knights Templar treasure because we heard the police were going to be dumping alcohol or something..(we were minors). Even into my later 20s though, no matter the what/where/who of the weekend, it was always about alcohol for me. At the time I didn’t recognize that, and if I did, I definitely wouldn’t have admit to it.

To this day I continually try to understand WHY for my entire teens and 20s I had this misunderstanding of what “fun” actually meant. Why did I associate the words “party” or “celebrate” with alcohol consumption? There was no question about it for me. The phrase “I’m not drinking tonight” was literally not a thing. I never uttered those words and I was bewildered and totally judgie (read: uncomfortable, insecure, jealous) when someone else did.

Somehow I am now approaching my sixth sober May long weekend. Tons of people still can’t fathom how one experiences and enjoys a token party weekend without any booze whatsoever. Sometimes I can still barely believe that this is my reality now, but IT IS and it FUCKING RULES.

I recently wrote about examining the five sensory experiences that appeal about any situation as a way to break down the real reasons why the situation is enjoyable. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch sensations, along with the emotions that come with all of it, AND, so importantly WHO YOU ARE WITH, are the things to focus on. Then, add on things like replacement beverages, favourite things (clothing, gear, journal, pyjamas, whatever) and TREATS of any kind, and you are setting yourself up for success.

If you’re in a situation where you may find that everyone is drunk and annoying you, have a back-up activity or place to escape for a little bit. Think ahead about how you want your weekend to be spent. When I was a drinker, alcohol consumption was treated like an activity or an event – sitting around getting wasted for 72 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I intend to do a lot of relaxing this weekend, but I don’t want to sit around in camping chairs the entire time! Make a list of some things that would make you really happy to do and that would leave you feeling fulfilled. Here are some of the things I will do over the course of my cabin weekend

  • have at LEAST one solid nap on the porch
  • 2 runs (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Finish A Man Called Ove
  • Read a chapter in Meb for Mortals
  • guided meditation Sat, Sun & Monday
  • cold water dip Fri eve and then Sat, Sun, Mon mornings
  • one 30 minute yoga sesh

Another list I have made is for packing all my favourite getting weird outfits and campfire clothes, favourite jammies and anything I need so I don’t freak out about being “out of routine” from being away from home (highly sensitive person problems).

It always seemed like a good idea to (try to) quit drinking the Tuesday after the long weekend. I knew depression, shame, regret and chaos were coming, but it wasn’t enough to deter me. I didn’t know how to be a sober person, and why would I have? We aren’t taught that! Society celebrates alcohol and puts it on a pedestal while shaming other abused substances. I just heard on the radio about a bunch of parks down south that now allow people to drink alcohol in public, and this is to “encourage people to spend time outside”. As if people can’t fucking go outside without drinking??! What in the actual fuck.

For people who can’t (don’t, won’t, whatever) moderate, not drinking is actually easier when you give it a chance. I can’t even wait to get away for the weekend and get sober May long #6 under my belt. Let me know if you need a hand with any of this shit cause it’s not easy and it definitely doesn’t come naturally to most of us in this society!

Jamie

Coaching. Right up there with Sober Life!

Hi!

Okay so ya, I know I go on and on about sober life. How it’s the shit and everything is better (not ALL better, but better in every way vs. booze life) and I share about it because I want to spread the magic.

Since I started coaching in February, I have come to find that 1-on-1 coaching reignites my sober fire and makes me want to run around my house in my pink faux fur coat singing and dancing!!! Helping someone unbuckle the limits of stupid alcohol and develop new perspectives on how doing so promotes a life-upgrade in all areas, is as fucking awesome as my own sobriety. I have a call coming up with someone in Week 4/5 and I feel like it’s race day or something.

Not drinking really seems to be catching on. I meet people who don’t drink and it feels like a secret club. I think I am going to make up a secret handshake, actually.

If you wanna get weird with me and keep growing the club, hit me up. This is fun.

Have an awesome weekend!!!!!! xo, Jamie

Monday morning haunted me today

I ran into a friend at the coffee shop this morning and I told her I was having some Monday anxiety. Nothing major but I feel it. Recently I posted about how Mondays don’t affect me the way they used to when alcohol was still part of my life, but when I thought about it again today I realized that there’s still some shit there.

Honestly, I don’t know if I sometimes still associate Monday mornings with past feelings of guilt, shame, regret (you know, drinking feelings) or if it’s just an anti-climax from a great weekend… who knows.

Either way, what matters is that when I stop and check myself, I am reminded that all is well. I actively assess my situation: I don’t have a hangover, I feel awake and healthy. I didn’t spend $200 yesterday on Caesars or blonde ales. I don’t have the shakes and a migraine, I can ground myself. There are groceries in the fridge, I slept alright and my days off were spent having a wicked time outside and being fully present for all of it.

So maybe I haven’t fully dominated EVERY Monday morning, but that’s okay. I hope you have a great week!!

Jamie

IT’S SUNNY

Yes. (In Prince Rupert) it’s finally sunny! I used to synonymize a sunny day with DRINKING. It was automatic. Sunny days and getting drunk went together like sourdough and peanut butter do in my current life.

The strength of some alcohol associations..impressive. Some of mine actually felt indestructible for a long time which I’d say is one of the main reasons it took me 5783647 tries to quit drinking once and for all.

Beer and fires. Beer and camping. Wine and charcuterie. Dinner and drinks. Drinks and the beach. Getting hammed at a wedding (I was sober at my own wedding.) Whatever.

I have talked about this many times on here I’m sure but there are steps we can take to dismantle these seemingly unbreakable partnerships. It starts with getting present and getting real – asking yourself some questions and truthfully answering.

Using all the senses to question yourself works well. What sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches/feelies do you like about the activity that is allegedly only fun if you’re drinking?

I’ll use fires as my example.

I love the flickering flame that can make me go into a trance and also the way it makes cool shadows and lights up other peoples’ faces who are around it. I also love the look of the sparks and the smoke too, as long as it’s not in my face. I REALLY love looking at stars, which I associate with fires in my favourite places in northern BC.

I love the cracking sound of the wood burning especially when it’s super dry, and I love that popping mini-explosion sound that happens sometimes.

I love the smell of being outside, or the smell of a house with a woodstove. I love the smell of my clothes and hair after having been at an outside fire. Some people think it’s gross but I love it.

I do love the taste of the beer I used to drink around a fire (fuckin’ sue me ahaha), but I also love the taste of non-alcoholic beer that tastes the same to me. I also love hot chocolate, coffee, Bubly and virgin caesars, all of which are great for drinking anywhere including around a fire.

I love the feeling of your clothes getting so hot you have to rotate, the feeling of being bundled up if it’s cold outside, the feeling of wearing summer clothes if it’s a day fire and it’s hot out, and I love the feeling of being cozy.

Voila. Alcohol has nothing to fucking do with why I love fires. Or sunny days, for that matter.

BRING ON SUMMER.

even a mild hangover would have ended me today!

Hope you had a good long weekend!! I definitely did, but I wish I prioritized a few things differently…

I woke up this morning SO so tired, like so sleepy I wanted to cry. And last night instead of getting groceries we watched an episode of Vikings and stayed cozy in the living room… so ya. No lunch to make and breakfast was a bit limp.

It feels like my to-do list over the next week is big, but really I’m just doing the thing where I’m tired and could use another day off (as could all people, after any weekend of any length usually haha). Also, side-note, I hate taxes.

A while ago I posted about how I’m okay with Mondays now (or Tuesday, in this case) because I don’t have hangovers from getting pissed all weekend, including most likely day drinking on Sundays or the holiday Monday. Today is one of the days where I EXTRA appreciate NOT having a hangover. For real, I don’t know what I would have done this morning if I woke up feeling ill with anxiety, paranoia, guilt or the shakes. I already was tired, disorganized and a tiny bit overwhelmed by the week ahead – imagine amplifying those things and adding another ton of shitty physical and emotional feelings to the pile while praying to a higher power to make bedtime come as fast as possible before even getting out of bed.

BLAH.

Here’s to having a clear head and knowing that dealing with a little start-of-the-week chaos is no match for sobriety.

xo Jamie

%d bloggers like this: