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* 🙏🌈💖

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!!!

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!

This Time Its Different!

Decided to start writing down my experiences of this sober journey..So in the past I have attempted to quit alcohol but always for other people and never for myself. On January 5th of this year i quit again with a great sense of “sick of feeling sick” On that day I also quit nicotine and weed!

My body was breathless upon walking up my own stairs. Morning was received with no joy only dread about how hungover i felt. No matter how much i drank i always wanted to drink more. And if i could then i would.

I decided early on against labeling myself and to use whatever resources i find helpful to me on this journey. I can say today wholeheartedly I never want to drink again. I truly believe that alcohol not only numbed my body and mind from feelings of suppressed pain but also of joy and light. Its been 143 days today. Im never going back. Its not easy to be Irish living in Ireland and not drink! A lot has changed in my life since i stopped.A lot has changed for the better.

If your reading this and on a similar journey i hope we can exchange stories and share the light of soberness. If your reading this and wondering about not drinking for a while id really encourage you to try it.

Its truly life changing.