There are certain people put in your path for very specific reasons. I believe my HP gives me people to admire, people to guide me, people to walk with me through hard times, and most importantly a handful of friends that will be there for me no matter what.
I ran into one of those select few “A-Listers” yesterday and my heart was completely overwhelmed with joy! When you haven’t seen someone in 3+ years but you can automatically pick up right where you left off, that’s a true friendship.
The reason it’s important to note that here is simply because she and I both quit drinking. She had her reasons. I had mine. But together, we both admit, we are better people for it. It didn’t change the fact that we still laughed so hard we were in tears yesterday. It didn’t make things awkward as we talked about our lives together. (Although we did laugh and reminisce on some old ridiculous stories of our former days.)
There will be many people that drift in and out of our lives as the years pass, but hang on to those special friendships for dear life. You may not see them often. You might not even talk regularly. But those relationships are put into your life for a reason. True friendship is priceless.
Yesterday was an amazing, exhausting, and overwhelming day. The baby had woken up at 3:30 am, went back to sleep for an hour or so, then my alarm was going off at 4:45 am. I was busy from 6:30 am-8:00 pm between the kids, my business, and caring for my family. I was go-go-go-go all day.
But after dinner was done and the baby was ready to go to bed, I decided I needed to put myself in bed too. Yes, it was only around 7:30 pm. Yes, I know there was stuff I still really needed to do so I could be ready for today’s tasks. Yes, there were still a mess all over the house. But I didn’t care. I needed something (where I previously would have reached for the wine to help me power through the rest of the evening), so I decided my bed and sleep were exactly what my body craved.
Knowing when to wave the white flag and surrender to the day is still a concept foreign to me, but I’m working on it. I’m learning to know when I’m DONE. I’m able to read the signs my body and my mood are trying to tell me. “Go to bed! I’ll perform better for you tomorrow. I’m done for the day!” is exactly what my body was screaming to me last night.
Know when it’s time to go to bed. Know when your body has had enough. Don’t be embarrassed to wave the white flag. You’re not giving up. You’re giving the day over so you can start fresh again tomorrow.
So, this may seem like an odd situation I’m going to explain, but I’ve talked about prayer here before. Have you ever had images of yourself or other people pop into your mind while you prayed? I’m not talking about crucifixes and other Biblical images we associate with God. I’m talking about everyday people and situations. For example, you say a small prayer about your spouse and you can see their face in your mind just as plain as day.
Well this morning, as I was praying to do God’s will today and not my own, I had an image. The words pouring out of me went something like this, “I know I’m broken. I’m not perfect. But God you know me better than I know myself. You know me inside and out. Please guide me today in Your will and not my own.”
As these words flowed out of my mouth, I began to imagine my own head of hair (which is a lot) and someone running their fingers through every strand. It was a moment where I realized every single hair on my head has been accounted for. Every single eyelash is no stranger to my HP. It’s as if I were to meet God and He would tell me the exact number of hairs on my head in an instant as to say, “Yup, all accounted for!”
If you’re struggling today and thinking that no one knows where you’re coming from or you’re in this endeavor alone, rethink it. Imagine someone who knows you, the good and the bad, and loves you more than you can imagine.
We’ve all experienced the spectrum of emotions at some point or another. We’ve been happier than a kid in a candy store and probably as down in the dumps as someone whose puppy just got run over. (Kid euphemisms speak to me.) Lately, irritability and impatience have been constant destinations on my spectrum while my husband dances around on anxiety.
We are selling a home. This is our first time to sell a home. We are buying a new home. This is new as far as the buying process goes because we have to wait for our current home to sell. We are learning as we go. We are also going on about our lives. My husband is still working. The kids still needing food and clean clothes. The house needing to stay “white-glove approved” clean for potential showings. The kids are busy with field trips and end of year activities. There’s baseball season. There’s pink eye. (Yeah, that’s an added bonus!)
You can probably see the recipe for disaster as simple as:
A + B + C + D = Full-Blown Chaos
But we’ve actually been able to manage the stress. I’m not saying by any means that we haven’t snapped at one another or that our kids are behaving perfectly (does this ever happen, by the way?), but we are working together. We are apologizing when we need to apologize. We are giving ourselves more grace than ever because we all need it.
Just because the recipe for disaster might be everything surrounding you today, that doesn’t mean you have to go home and bake the cake! Switch up some of the ingredients, add more fun and playfulness. Don’t let the situations in your life control you. (Hint: You don’t really have control over them anyway.) You can only control you and how you handle things in life. Good luck! It’s not always easy, but you can do it!
When I first quit drinking, I thought I was going to be bombarded every day by people offering me a drink. It was an irrational fear or mine I had for a few weeks until I realized the world doesn’t revolve around me anyway. (Who knew, right?!) I had this whole speech planned out in my head just in case I was caught in a situation where I would have to explain myself. The truth is, when you don’t surround yourself in situations where you have to explain yourself, you often don’t have to say anything at all.
If you are worried about someone offering you a drink in a bar, don’t go to a bar! If you are worried that happy hour may too tempting, skip out on it! If you are consumed with the idea that someone may offer you a drink you can’t refuse at the reception, don’t hang around where the drinks are being served!
I know a lot of this is easier said than done, especially for someone in those first few hours, days, and weeks of sobriety, but it is doable.
I have also found it easier to say “no” to other things now that my need to please people has been thrown out the window. Accepting everything invitation to volunteer for this or that at my kids’ schools has been replaced with only the things I really want to do. Raising my hand to handle all of the family functions for the year has been replaced with bringing something to the potluck.
When we can say “no” to the simple things, it makes it easier to work up the courage to say “no” to the hard things too. You can do it…I believe you can do it!
Do you ever feel silly saying a prayer? Like a problem you have is too small for your Higher Power (HP) to deal with? For example, potty training and cleaning the house. I’ve prayed countless times for these two things and I still feel ridiculous about it. But the truth is, prayer works.
I know we all want those big miraculous moments to happen to us so we can say we have had a divine experience to share with the world! But to be perfectly honest, I have those moments every day. I didn’t completely lose my mind this week because of my kids, that’s a miracle in itself! I haven’t given into my come-and-go temptations to drink, that’s a huge blessing. I haven’t completely given up the will to live because my laundry wasn’t done, the floors went without being mopped, or the dishes weren’t cleaned…a marvelous feat!
These tasks may seem mundane and completely absurd, but that’s the point. Nothing is too small for us to give over to our HP! The little things can easily become the big struggles in our lives if we let them consume us.
Give all of the obligatory, mindless tasks over to your HP. You have to do them whether you have someone helping you or not, so why not ask for guidance and strength along the way?
This one simple thing has made a HUGE impact on my daily life. I hope it will for you too. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!
I had a friend I recently visited with whom I hadn’t seen in years. We were very close growing up and she’s probably known me since I was 8 or 9 years old. She saw the wild and reckless teen I was growing up. She saw the crazed college student who was out of control. And now she has seen me attempting these wife and parenting roles in my life.
We started catching up about what has been going on with each of our families and she mentioned something about going out or having a drink or something in the coming few weeks. I let her know I don’t drink anymore. Since she knows me so well, she immediately asked, “Why!?” And for the first time in a really long time it felt good to say, “Come on. You know I needed to stop being so wild and crazy. I mean, because, well, you know me…or how I was!”
She almost laughed at me, I’m sure reliving some of our past partying memories, and said, “Yeah, that’s probably not a bad idea.” It felt good to explain myself to someone who “got it.” Not a stranger who I have to feel awkward about because they don’t know my past because for one, I don’t want to bring it up. And two, I don’t want others placing judgement on me immediately without knowing my whole story.
This girl, well woman and fellow mom now, knew me in my past and she now knows who I am today. I feel much better about who I am today than who I was in the past. I feel more honest with myself and honest with other people. I feel like I’m not constantly trying to escape, a feeling I felt a lot when I was drinking still. I feel like I can just be me now.
I hope you have people in your life who help you just be you. Even better, I hope you have people in your life who help you be the best version of you!