The Struggle Is Real.

Getting sober is one thing but staying sober is another.

And staying sober during a pandemic is another

Right now I’m finding it tough.
I have had many urges to get wasted recently.
I have cried myself to sleep with the pain of grief and letting go.
I am healing and its hard and vulnerable.
Part of me does want to run away and numb it all you know?

When the majority of people think someone is so hero-like, but to you they where someone who hurt you, that is so tough.
My truth is not reflected back to me.


This requires so much self-love and care. To NOT take it on board and NOT feel shame and blame around it.
And in those times I do feel shame and blame around it to just feel it, allow it and process it.

In therapy, it feels like going over the same stuff sometimes. The same trauma. However, it is different because of its different layers and each time I am trusting my body more and more. It knows what to do and what it needs to do. Somatic work is huge and I continue to learn what it means each time I show up.
So much letting go recently in my life and its challenging and feels raw.

I just checked on my app and today its 780 days of not drinking or smoking anything. It is a huge achievement. And one I needed to read just now.
I can’t go to a real AA meeting in person but I know I need to go to an online one. Pull in on all the resources that I still have available.
I’m writing this for those struggling today. I am too.
And I see you and all I can say is just hold on for today because that is what I’m going to do.
My truth and my voice(just like yours) are just as important now as then when I couldn’t speak up and out.
I am learning and growing in my power amid all the tears and pain, healing is happening.

I am thankful to have the Fairy Woods close.
Today.

Thanks for reading

*Keep Shining* 🙏🌈💖

On Endings

Recently I’ve learned that we don’t get the justice we think we deserve or even imagine. 

I was shocked recently to find out about the sudden death of someone who had a huge impact on my whole life. Huge impact meaning traumatic impact.

Over the past two years, I’ve been working hard on staying sober and delving deep into that trauma.

Part of that was picturing what justice looked liked for me. 

The sudden death of this person meant the loss of everything I had still planned.

I had such a deep sense of grieve for my child. She had to let all of that go. Find a way to be with this new reality. And my adult self had to find a way to tell her it was okay.

I had thoughts of “what if I had gotten sober quicker and I could have spoken up and out sooner”..basically blaming myself for taking so long. 

This self-blame is my old self. Tied up in shame for not being able to speak up has always been something I’ve had trouble dealing with. Shame is squirmy in the body it makes it doubly hard to speak about because of that. It is one big reason I kept drinking.

 I certainly know now that it was not my fault and I have no part in the blame for what happened. 

So already this is the year of endings. I am learning so much with this one. 

I’ve had such wonderful support from a few who know the situation and I’m very grateful for that support and those words. I’m grateful I have a therapist who I can be myself with. 

Trees

Innocence was not lost

It was not stolen

I put it in the tress

That leaned over me 

And asked them to mind it

Until you had finished 

I’m learning that there is learning in everything as long as you are living. And for me living means being drink and drug free.

I’m enjoying seeing more light in the evenings and the cold dry weather. Spring is in the air.

The comfort of the trees nearby. 

Taking things very much still one day at a time. 

Keep Shining!

Continue reading

Two Years Free!!

My sober 45 year old self!

So today its two years now since I quit alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana too!
When I read other people days,months and years I’m always so amazed and like WOW that’s a lot of days together. But when I see mine in my app I’m not so amazed and in awe! I’m not sure why but I have some ideas. Us Irish and maybe not just the Irish are not good at celebrating their achievements and taking praise or compliments. For example when someone comments on an item of clothing we brush it off and say “ah sure it was only cheap from such and such a shop”!!
I feel like Catholic Ireland has always taught me and us that pride is a sin!! So maybe that’s why I find it difficult to feel pride in myself.
But what does feeling proud of oneself feel like? What is the sensation in the body?
A month into my recovery like I’ve written before I found myself a therapist to work with. Not a talk therapist but a somatic one. So I try describe sensations in the body..So for me, pride feels like light. Its a feeling of being relaxed in my body,warm and spacious. Being sober also gives me these feelings. Drinking made me heavy inside and a feeling of being suffocated. So did smoking but I think that’s more to do with the fact I was suffocating my lungs. Today I can certainly say I am breathing more easily.

Two years in one day at a time I have not found it all easy going no. I’ve had to get real and dig deep into all the stuff I numbed with my addictions..This is an ongoing process and necessary one. Layers exist. Sometimes layers exist around the same issue and when I think I have dealt with something enough, another layer will become clear. This is the showing up. This is the driving weekly to therapy a 90 min round trip. I am thankful for this journey. It has given me so so much, some of which I will share now.

I have a 12 step programme. One that’s tried tested and works if it’s worked at! I find this extremely beneficial as the way the 12 Steps are structured gives me a purpose. Also means I now have a sponsor whom I can ask to help me with the programme. Step 8 is “made a list of all persons we had harmed,and became willing to make ammends. This is important to me. To my recovery and peace of mind. As are all 12 steps…

I have a hangover free body and mind every single morning I wake up. I am not sick with drink anymore ever. This is one of my favourite things about being sober. I was sick of feeling sick. Now I’m free in myself..its the biggest reward.

I have and am attempting to pay my debt. It feels wonderful to be able to pay bills on time. It feels wonderful to be able to treat myself and my loved ones. Before I would always have a choice to make, pay the bill or part of it and fund my addiction. That does not happen now.

I’m not running away anymore. Before I ran away alot. Now I try my best to face everything. Not all at once but little by little step by step… being vulnerable is a strength. Not a weakness.

At the start of therapy, it was suggested i gather things together that i like to do that are beneficial. I draw on these resources when i need them which is daily.
They have kept me sober and sane.
Swimming is one of them and now with the pool closed for Level 5, I will have to use other resources. Unless i want to swim in the very cold lake!!!
That’s life in pandemic times. We don’t know what will happen next but I know I have many resources to draw upon. This writing being another one. Which I don’t need anything for really. A pen and paper I guess and a laptop and internet if I want to share via my blog.

Walking is another one and thankfully can still do that. Sadly without my beloved Star who I miss every day still. She was a joy giver, especially on walks with her stick carrying antics! Walking can be so boring now!! So I’ve got myself a pair of Bluetooth headphones and started listening to podcasts or music. This helps me. Star is still with us always in our hearts never to be forgotten. So lucky to have had a dog so perfect!!

Reading would be another resource I use daily. I do like to read other peoples stories on how they got and stayed sober. Some of my favourites are: The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Grey, Recovery by Russell Brand and Glorious Rock Bottom by Bryony Gordon.
I also read The Big Book from AA and The Twelve Steps and 12 Traditions.
I will read whatever I find hopeful and helpful so it’s varied and wide!!
And of course, I read other stuff too that is not about not drinking!! Untamed By Glennon Doyle was a recent favourite and I highly reccomend it.

Another resource I want to write about is meditation.
This one helps me the most. It takes me back to the here and now. It takes me to my breath to the oneness of stillness. Quiets the mind and makes me feel still and full of calmness throughout my whole body.
I use a free app called Insight Timer and would highly recommend it. So much goodness contained in one app!! I need to meditate daily. Some days I don’t but when I do it daily,it only adds to my day. It is true for meditation what they also say about swimming “you never regret it”!!

Finally seeing and hearing other peoples journeys is so encouraging to me. Without other people sharing their own story I’m not sure I would be getting through mine. So for those on their journeys and casting out their light, I thank you so so much. You are an inspiration to me and I see you!!

This is one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite authors Brene Brown which feels appropriate here.

“If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I am not interested in or open to your feedback. There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their own lives, but will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgement at those of us trying to dare greatly. Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism, and fear-mongering. If you’re criticizing from a place where you’re not also putting yourself on the line, I’m not interested in your feedback”

One day at a time. They will and do all add up.

Keep shining.🙏🌈💖

Walking in the Jauary sunshine!
My favourite prayer

BE KIND

Death by suicide leaves the people left behind asking a ton of questions.
I’m writing this because a month ago a good friend took her own life. The shock of hearing the news was something I never felt before. It hit me in the chest like a punch to the heart.
I wanted to fall to the ground and scream NO with my legs in the air like a child would have a tantrum about how unfair life is.
With the shock came disbelief. Is she gone? Can it really be that person? Must check the RIP online website refresh it refresh, still nothing can it be true then?
I reached out to someone who also knew Rachel. The news was true…

The next day we gathered. Made an alter. We lit candles around her picture. We each said goodbye in our own way with a song, a poem, a few words on what she meant to us. And Rachel meant a lot to so so many. She was/is a beautiful soul. I feel very lucky to have met her a couple of years ago that day I was waiting for an interview in the community cooperative. She walked in with her two kids and looked around and then said hello. What are you doing/waiting for she said?!! She asked me to keep an eye on her kids as she forgot something in her car!! This was Rachel. So trusting and so friendly so quickly! If she saw you she saw you and she told you and that was it!! A friendship was formed. We enjoyed some lovely times together since our first meeting that day. I will cherish them always.
I still question now two months later if I could have done more, been more, said more, known more…these are the questions suicide leaves behind for all. I know its collective and I know its grief.
Grief is hard in the body. It manifests in such a way that you feel like you can’t breathe. Like what’s inside is too heavy. Too much. Too unbearable. I think they say time can be a great healer because with time the grief has space.


Wishing arch in fairy woods now with a tribute for our friend Rachel

I’m fortunate to have that time to heal. Sadly my friend does not. I know she felt things a lot so I guess what she was feeling was too much and she couldn’t find a way to cope. I can’t ask her sadly. I listen to her voice notes. I listened to them a lot in the beginning. I think listening to her helped with the grief. Either way, it was just good to hear her voice. Alive.

So I did ask her for a sign. A sign that she was okay. And I believe I got some. Since Star(our dog)passed on there has always been a robin close by every time I go out. The day after I asked Rachel for a sign there has been two robins! Also the other evening in a small town close to home I was driving home from therapy. Rachel was on my mind so much and I saw the most amazing shooting star. Like a silver fireball falling across the sky.
It was so beautiful just like my friend.


So my urge to numb has been real. But i have not. Instead I’ve talked and gone to AA meetings more. I’ve taken the love I’ve been shown and wrapped it around me like a blanket of healing.
This is living and this is living with whatever happens.
This will be my second Christmas sober.
One day at a time.
712 days together.
Life is hard for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.
I think collectively we need to remember this.
Keep shining your light. Others see it and need it.

Also let your own voice be kind to yourself.

And breathe breathe breathe…..

An inspiration quote that i love!
Beautiful Robin let me take a picture!

Finding my light…

When I was in my twenties I did find a way to not drink for some time. I was introduced to AA by a friend who saw my drinking as a problem.
I got involved with all aspects of its active service and so on. I loved the community aspect of it that it felt like having a family. I do not remember ever having a real connection to my body at that time. In a lot of ways, it felt like someone else’s life, to be honest, and that I was going through the motions. I wanted to fit in, to be a better Mum, person, friend and so on. It was very little to do with myself.
I’m not sure how long I lasted I think it was maybe 18 months. It is 20 years ago now! I can’t recall exactly what happened but I can say for certain that I picked up the first drink.

That one drink led to drinking on and off for another 20 years. When I write that down it amazes me because I see how very little control I had over it.
All of my drinking after that was in the full knowledge that I had a problem and yet I couldn’t seem to stop or I didn’t have enough willpower too. So I tried different ways to control it. Only drinking at weekends, drinking stout, drinking beer or wine or cider. Only drinking from a certain time in the evening. Which drink can I feel less sick with sore with function better on? Which drink can I present myself to the world on… I believe its called a functioning alcoholic.


It did not get any better the more time went on. I had many rock bottoms and continued to drink. I drove on drink, tried to shoplift alcohol and was caught. I lost many jobs because of my inability to keep good time. One job I drank the night before I started a brand new job. I went to the pub for two pints to unwind the nerves(the stories we tell ourselves!) and be home early. Of course, I could not stop after two. I was way too hungover and sick to go to the job and so I lost it. I remember I attended a funeral where whiskey was served. I mostly managed to stay away from spirits but not that evening. I drank some and then some more. Eventually, I blacked out. I woke up on my sofa half-naked and with a black eye not remembering what had happened. Nobody had hurt me only myself that time.


I need to remember these times. This is what one drink led to and this is only what I’m comfortable sharing here. . Alcohol enabled me to function but never live. I was only living for the next drink and that’s the sad truth. With the drink came nicotine and marijuana when I could get it. I loved being comfortably numb…I was consumed. And it allowed me to shut off from any trauma I was still feeling or not wanting to feel in my body. I did not know that at the time but I have learned and now understand it better. For the last couple of years of my drinking Id had enough.

My body had had enough. I had turned 40. No matter what I drank it almost always refused to stay in my body. Such a waste of alcohol I thought then.My liver hurt. Everything hurt. I would be out of breath waking up my stairs to bed. I had a persistent cough and even took an asthmatic inhaler at times to help me breath. As much as I tried to ignore my body as it was screaming out I was sick of feeling sick. Things got in the way for a while…A wedding, a birthday party a Christmas! How could I ever get sober before any of these occasions?


I began to notice certain people. The sober people I hadn’t noticed before. I saw them even on social media and I saw their light and I wanted that. They shone and they didn’t hide the fact that they didn’t drink. For so long I thought there was shame in the not drinking that it had to keep a secret. The shame was all caught up in the drinking, not in the stopping drinking!!
Christmas 2018 I tried to drink a little as possible. I failed. I drank at some stage and it carried over for a few days.

But on January 5th 2019 something happened. The easiest way to describe it is this.
Step One: Admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable. When I did this step I believed in it so I also included nicotine and the green stuff. Why would I want to hold onto either addiction? So I admitted I was powerless of all of it.
Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Three: Decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him
.
I always believed in the existence of a God so step two and three from the 12 steps were workable for me. Whatever it is about turning my life over to the care of a higher power it has worked for me as I have not picked up a drink since that day. Recently I have started praying again more. For different people mainly and myself. Sometimes well often it is the only thing I can do. And I find solace in the that. A lot has been taken away during this pandemic but prayer remains and I find it hopeful. I also find it hopeful that it feels like I got another chance. The chance I didn’t fully take that I was not ready for in my twenties came around again. In between I managed to not die,not kill anyone or end up in prison and so on. Sure I have amends to make I made mistakes that cost. I wish I’d done better and so on. But I was suffering and only able to do what I could at that time.

Forgiveness is a big part of recovery going forward. Feeling into that not being consumed by guilt and forgiving myself. Recognising Allow Investigate and Nurture is a great resource I’ve been using by Tara Brach an amazing author and meditation teacher.
I’m greatly encouraged still by people I’ve grown closer to in recovery those who continue to shine there light and live there best lives too.
I like the idea of shining my light out now that I’m finding it.
Hoping as you read this your light is glowing.
Shine on

Shine On

650 Days Free!!!

The light coming in….

Today i feel more free and light then i ever have before.

I feel like I am coming home to myself and that is not an easy thing for me to say without a part of me wanting to laugh at how ridiculous it sounds. That part is only protecting me and only recently did I realise that.

For so long I numbed my pain and with that my joy and my light. Feeling my pain,dealing with my past has allowed me to let the light in too!!!

I have continued to see my somatic therapist weekly to work through a lot of issues. My issues are mostly around shame and blame. I have held onto them in my body for way to long and found unhealthy ways to not cope!! This is the hardest work. Sometimes I want to run away. Sometimes during the sessions i feel physically ill. This is the work that allows the cracks to appear to let the light in. And let the light out.

Last month i celebrated my 45th Birthday. It was my 2nd Birthday completely sober. I do not remember having been able to do anything last year. I was like a new born baby having to wrap myself up in a soft cotton blanket and really really mind myself. This year was a small window of opportunity right around the time of my birthday to do something in between what has now become level 3 lock down and no leaving the county again!!

I booked my first ever hand poked tattoo by an amazing artist in Dublin and planned to maybe go to old home town,see family and see as many friends as possible..The thing about sobriety is you can do whatever you want. You are never too hungover to do it!! I felt brave enough to drive into Dublin City centre for the first time.Usually i would get the bus or train.Mostly so i could have a drink on the way. I felt really proud of myself for doing this new thing.For sitting in traffic by the river liffey and not freaking out and for knowing yeah i got this!!

Having a hand poked tattoo on my birthday eve was an amazing experience. I have something on my skin that feels like its always been there and its to represent Star. It felt like my skin was being embroidered!! It is a lot less painful and the healing time is so quick!!

Birthday Ink!

After i had my ink i went to my favourite doughnut shop and bought vegan doughnuts for me and my friend who i would see later. I walked around for a while…ate a burrito probably the best one id ever tasted. I bought myself a beautiful bottle of perfume that smells like oak and the sea and aliveness. Smelled exactly how i felt.

I did exactly what i wanted and went exactly where i needed to go. I felt uneasy about going into certain environments so I didnt. My choices may have caused some disappointment but that is okay. I have realised in sobriety that your sobriety has to come first. Dont risk it to please others and do as they want. The outcome may make them happy but how will you be after.

On the actual day of my birthday i went out for lunch with 3 friends. Two of them id usually see over the summer camping but because of covid we couldnt have that particular camp. One of them has been sober for almost 25 years!! She is a legend to me!! I find such inspiration in her.She is a light that shines and says hey i done it so can you. Our lunch was amazing the food too. Laughter. Belly aching laughter you know. Real deep down to the core joy. It was one of my favourite days. I received cards and gifts too which added more special!! One was a book signed by one of my favourite authors Jeanette Winterson how very lucky I am!!!

I share all this because in a short enough time of 650 days i do believe now anything is possible.

My heart is open to the endless possibilities 🙂

Yes we are in a pandemic and things are not normal. But if you are sober or trying to get sober just mind that the rest will follow. I was supposed to start a college course this year on Development and Global Human Rights Studies but due to the lack of numbers the cancelled it. I am dissapointed sure but i have the tools to deal with it. This is still my best life. I cannot control most things only how i react. 650 days in its still the same “Dont pick up the first drink” or drug. Still “one day at a time” Still “Let Go and Let God” and “Keep It Simple”!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

I wish you well on your journey.

Keep Shining

Jo

45 years old me!!
Some special cards!
Balloons from my son Luke!!
Mmmm doughnuts!!!

Loss During Lockdown

I wrote the following having seen a post on social media looking for artist of all kinds to contribute to a newspaper(which tunred into a Zine)called The Stange Times

I knew i wanted to write something but i wasent sure what i would write about. Within a couple of days our beloved Star passed away and so naturally i wrote about her.

STAR
Star was no ordinary dog.

She was Star in name and Star by nature.
When my son and I made the move over 13 years ago from Drogheda to Co.Clare we knew we had to have a dog in our lives.
After seeing an advert in the local health food store: “Good homes wanted for puppies” we called the number!!
We met about 7 puppies in a barn with the mum and a donkey!! We will never forget the moment all the beautiful  pups ran to us and said hello. But one in particular was the friendliest and jumped and played with my son the most out of all the pups. Any preconceived notions about having a boy pup gone!!Because this one was a girl!!
When the time was right we collected her, when she was old enough to leave her mum!!
We noticed around the heart area she had white star shaped fur and so thats what we called her.
And so our journey began together.

She traveled on Luke’s lap in a box filled with straw! And from the moment we got her she traveled and moved everywhere with us!
One of those journeys was up to meet other family members.On one of those visits we visited with my sister and her son. Star was out in the garden and when she came back in the door we noticed she had something in her mouth! We realized she had found a dummy(soother) in the garden and it was in her mouth the proper way round!!!!


She was always making us laugh with her ways. Always wanting a stick on a walk and going for the biggest one in the woods so taking our legs out as she ran by us. Recently these sticks became treasure and she would bring the sticks all the way on her walk until got to car then try take it into foot well of car with her!!No matter how big or small the stick was she insited it come with her!!

She equally loved a ball with passion. Leaping and bounding and catching them from the sky. During her lifetime a lot of tennis balls was had!! I found 6 while cutting the grass in garden recently!!
She loved her food too of course. She would follow anyone into the kitchen in her own home or others. If cooking was happening she lay on the floor observing and waiting to be given something or waiting for something to fall on the floor so she could hoover it up!!
Once during a family barbecue she stole a piece of chicken on a stick straight from the hand of my nephew while he was busy chatting!!


Everyone who met Star loved her. And she loved them. She taught us how to open our hearts. To love unconditionally. And to be loved unconditionally.
To be excited over the little things like putting shoes on,picking up a collar,saying the word “sausages!” or “stick”or “ball”…that life was to be lived and loved and shared. She gave her stick or ball to all she met she was unselfish in the most wonderful wonderful ways.


As i sit and write this in these strange times,tears flow freely down my face.
Our beloved Star passed away on Saturday 25/4/20
Strange times have turned into stranger times.
Her bed is empty. Her water bowl empty. Our home is empty of her. A bone,a ball, many sticks remain in the garden untouched since Saturday.

The imprints she made in our hearts remains.
In the felt sense that we knew her, we loved her,and she loved us.So much.

Cherish every moment.

Love fiercely because one day it will all change.

This we know to be true now more than ever.

As a pup and in old age!!
That time she found a dummy in the garden!!

One Day At a Time.. Especially Now!!

Been an age since i last wrote here and felt inspired with everything going on right now. Well mainly with this pandemic. Every thing feels different,unsure, uncertain, unknown right?

Right now im glad i have 14 months sobriety and mostly i feel strong in myself emotionally, mentally and physically. If i began to think about all the unknowns around this pandemic than sure my head will spin out of control and go down an unhealthy rabbit hole.That does not mean i dont give myself the space to fell what im feeling i just try to do so in my body and not my mind. For example am i fearful of not being able to work for a while due to the cafes and so on all being closed? Yes i feel fear around it and so i allow it. Recognize. Then i investigate where its coming from? Well i like to work i like to go to work get out of the house, keep busy, make some money and so on. But its temporary. Maybe another job will come up during this time doing something else or maybe i will create one. But i know i dont need to worry and fret about it. Im thankful i get government support when unemployed so financially can keep going.

While i wasent much for socializing in the way others maybe do there was some things that i had started to enjoy.Going to one AA meeting a week had become something of a routine and something i found solace in. I find it comforting to find other people did and behaved in similar ways with no control over it..I have tried an AA online just once but i didnt enjoy it so clicked out of the meeting.I feel socially awkward even online it seems. However i tried it once and and maybe the meeting just wasent for me and so i will try one again and maybe it will work out fine.

Every Monday for the past 13 months ive been gong to somatic therapy. This has helped me stay sober and to love and respect myself at a whole new level. Its been the most hard work but the most worthwhile. Its been body changing and life affirming. I no longer see or feel myself in the same light. So last week i was meant to have my first session online but i was sick so didn’t feel i had the energy for it. This week il try again.Sure i have fear around it working.Around being able to be fully present in my body online but if i dont try then i will lose out and the flow that was worked so hard for may be lost until who knows when.

Life has never been more so about adjusting and even more so about accepting. For the past 14 months during sobriety i have tried so much to live life only in the day.To be sober and not take a drink or drug just for today. And now i feel everyone is having a lesson in this. Sure routines and work and more are all spun on there heads. And we dont know for how long. But its collective. Now some may chose to turn to drink or drugs at this time but for me that choice would be detrimental. When all this eases i want to still be sober.I want to have not picked up a drink.

So i have added some new routines. I make sure i write in diary everyday for a t least 10 mins free flow. I’ve started online QIQong and i love it. The ease and flow of it really suits me and if you have not heard of it or tried it please do. A friend of mine does meditation online every eve at 7pm and i join that when i can… I dont do these things for doing something. Because i firmly believe in doing nothing also and i dont believe that doing nothing is lazy. WE all must look after our mental health in whatever way works for us. I do them because i can. I have a home thats safe. Electricity and internet that allows me too. I have so much to be thankful for.

Its important for me to make some things during theses times that are not different that are sure,certain and known. Daily.

Thanks for reading and stay well.

11 months into it…!

My Favorite quote right now

This quote is whats happening in my life right now.

When i read this quote before i didn’t really get it to be honest. But now i get it.

I feel like to remain small and silent and quiet is the more painful option and its the option i have been choosing most of my adult life. The tight in a bud was safe and i could drink and get high and not really deal with the trauma in my body at all.

Im not even sure i was aware of the trauma still in my body maybe i just thought it was my mind that was affected.

Ive being seeing a somatic therapist now for almost 10 months. One month into my recovery i sought about finding a therapist and thankfully i found someone willing to work with me. Having the space of an hour per week is so important to my recovery.More important than i could have ever imagined.

Somatic therapy is so difficult and so healing all at the same time. Its for me about holding the space for my body to feel what its feeling and not run away from it and not escape in anyway. It is truly trans-formative.

No its not easy.But no one ever told me it would be. And im not saying that either.

It will be a long process. I have a lot stored up needing release.Its the most difficult work i have ever done. I am hopeful it will continue to be the most rewarding also.

I live in a country where the norm is to drink, sometimes daily.That was my routine too.

So when hard stuff is happening now in my life a part of me automatically wants to reach for a drink a joint or a cigarette. That was the norm. To drink alone or with others socially.So yes its hard and the past 11 months have been a process of healing and a huge process of not turning back to habits and not giving in.

Apart from therapy i love being out in nature and i feel really blessed that i live in Ireland for all the wonderful nature that surrounds me. The lakes and woods and sea and more.Sure its cold now and rain a lot but i still get out in it.Its so refreshing to be in it and just be.Not be on the way to any place or wanting to be done so i can come home or go someplace for a drink!

Christmas is just around the corner and its going to be new to be sober! Im excited and a bit weary at the same time. I havent figured out what im doing yet.I know this much:whatever i do it will be to look after my sobriety first and foremost.That’s not being selfish its being real and true.

Its what it takes for me to blossom.

Yesterday i shaved all my hair off. Its feels like a fuck you to a struggle that’s been going on inside of myself. It feels like reclaiming a part of my power that i needed to and coming out of bud! I love how new it feels!

Keep shining all of you and thanks for reading!

One day at a time..

The light is shining

…its now been 10 months or 304 days since i gave up alcohol,marijuana and nicotine.I make a conscious decision everyday that i wont drink or get high today. Some days its really difficult and i have to draw on all the things i know to be true.Which goes something like this:

By myself i am powerless over my addiction.Many times i tried by my own will to stop and each time i failed.Admitting that to myself was the first step and it is the first step every single day 10 months on.

Other peoples opinions on my addiction do not matter to me.Those who consider this a lifestyle choice and a whatever makes you happy choice do not understand.And thats ok with me. I will continue to share my journey how i chose too,privately publicly or other. There is no shame in sharing my story and by sharing it maybe someone else will admit to themselves they have a problem and are powerless to control it.

10 months ago i had 4 jobs. All part time and none of which i truly loved.One of them was cleaning a pub on a Monday morning. I emptied ashtrays and mopped beer stained floors.I did this because it paid me 30euro and one month after getting sober i started therapy and it paid for some of it. Today i have one job.Its work but i do love it. Im proud to be a chef,to send out soft poached eggs every single time. To know that the cheese is proper melted on the sandwich.!!!To serve food that i would happily pay for!!!

Everything is real now that im not escaping/numbing.Sure sometimes that is overwhelming but sometimes the overwhelm is because of the most wonderful laughter with another person.Or looking across a lake when the rain clears and a beautiful rainbow fills the sky. Feeling that joy is new to me. Before i was so caught up in getting home to have a glass a wine or a joint. I was consumed with consuming and not being present in the moment. Now i get to be present and its wonderful more times than not.

Therapy has saved me from relapsing and i recommend it to everyone.A month into my sobriety i found myself a somatic therapist. This kind of therapy differs from talk therapy in that it focuses on releasing any trauma we may have held onto from the body. Its been life changing in so many ways. No its not easy. Yes sometimes i want to leave and go drink to numb what has come up to numb the ugly feeling in myself. But so far i have not.This way of life is for me and i do not ever want to go back.

What i have found in people and in this way of life far outweighs anything i have lost. When i drank i always told myself tomorrow i will stop and tomorrow was always another excuse.When i go to AA meeting i hear other peoples stories and its exactly the same.When i went to a meeting 10 months ago all i could do was cry because i heard myself in everyone and i was glad to be there. Yes it was so hard to walk through the doors alone but once i went inside i was not alone anymore.And thats how it is now to this day.Sure friendships have changed and some have gone away because alcohol was the only thing we had in common!! But thats ok. Ive realsied that my sobriety has to be the most important thing in my life..not the 2nd or 3rd the 1st.Everyday.

“To thine own self be true”

I have my own higher power that is personal to me. And everyday i ask for help to stay sober to stay true and kind. I say the serenity prayer daily because its simple and stays with me. …To Accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can…

So i hope reading this, whatever journey your own you own it and claim it as yours..and if its not for you than change it..its only one day and that’s today. That’s all we have so make it count!!

Let the light in and shine it back out!