Last week was pretty good overall. I felt great mid-to-late week. I know the vitamin D and increased physical activity may have something to do with that, and I know I’m sleeping better without alcohol (and with limited caffeine). I am reading Many Roads, One Journey and for the most part, I really love it. I’m almost to the point of the steps, which feel better to me than the AA steps. More on that in a minute. I have moments where I worry about sustainability, but I think that part of sustainability is developing new habits and keeping priorities in mind. I think about what one of my spiritual mentors used to say about ritual – that it’s laying new pathways in my soul (and mind). I think that’s what I’m doing and if you’ve ever watched anyone lay down a road, well, it’s hard work, and my current situation seems to be that of a thick and somewhat sickly jungle.
The Physical: I got all my training in for the 5K, though I did skip my strength workout yesterday. I may do it today and call it good, but I’m not promising. I have a long list of things to do, things I procrastinated yesterday in favor of playing games with the fam. I have mixed feelings about that and I’m thinking a lot about the role of video games in my life, but for now, it’s a way to connect and do something together. Anyway, the fitness – it went pretty well once I moved into the indoor track at the gym. The prescribed workout is 4 minutes of walking with one of running (which is really jogging) to be repeated 4 times, equaling a 20 minute workout. It ends up being over 30 with the stairs between here and there and the cool-down walk I do after the last cycle. The biggest issue I had this week is that my right shin gets super cramped up and only starts to loosen on the last run cycle. It hurts like a bitch and I know it’s affecting my stride. I’m not sure what to do about it. I’ve tried the stretches I know, as well as the walk before starting (with stairs) to warm up. I’m thinking it may have something to do with my scoliosis and my hips are probably uneven. I’m hoping that if I do enough work to loosen up and strengthen my calves, maybe it will lessen. Any ideas are welcome! This next week the cycles will be 3 minutes walking with 2 running. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t make it last week on any particular day, but this week could prove to be a challenge.
The Mental: While I did not make it to a recovery meeting this week, I did talk with some of you at length and I did, as I mentioned, spend a good deal of time reading my book and figuring out how it works for my recovery. I also really started to see places where addictive patterns are present in my life, and it’s not just about drinking. I’m legitimately having a hard time finding a meeting that fits for me, and I’m hoping that on Friday, when I meet with the therapist, I’ll be able to get a better bead on one that works. There is an AA meeting on campus every day of the workweek at noon, but it was on hiatus for the break. Proximity-wise, that would be the best fit. I’m going to ask about the SMART recovery meetings, which really are the way I want to go, but man, the meetings are really hard to fit into my schedule, even the online ones. Maybe I’ll move my desk into my bedroom so I can have privacy when I need it. This week was easier than I thought it would be, with most cravings being almost like habits. Like… “Normally when I watch this, I’ve had a few drinks,” or “This cheese is really good with a little pinot or chardonnay.” And then I start thinking about missing it, about whether it’s going to be weird for my friends if I never drink again and so on. But feeling good kind of trumps that. Sleeping better, having some clarity and so on. Feeling crappy and not having a drink kind of sucks, and that has happened too, but nothing has been enough to overcome the CBA – cost/benefit analysis – that SMART recovery teaches about. Still, I want to acknowledge that while it hasn’t been as hard as I thought (I even had lunch at Rogue Hall, a brewpub across the street that was the scene of several beer-starts to a drinking day), it also hasn’t been easy, and I know there will be harder times ahead.
There’s a fair amount about stuff with Jeff that I posted earlier (some in comments), and I don’t want to completely rehash it. Suffice it to say I’m worried, still. I’m kind of backburnering it until I start therapy on Friday. If you want more details, let me know.
The Spiritual: Daily meditation has been great, though it has been tough these past two days as the kids are home and my morning routine is kind of shot. My eventual goal is 20 minutes a day. I started with 5 this week, realized that wasn’t enough and upgraded to 10. I may do 10 again this coming week just because I only started to feel focused towards the end of the week. My best luck has been with a form of grounding/centering and imagining the energy exchange with the trees outside (I open the windows when I start). I’m still looking around, thinking about what I want and don’t want. They’re offering an Iron Pentacle class over the next 6 weeks here, but alas, it is on a night when I have class AND it was full by the time I realized it. But I think I’ll go to the Imbolc ritual. Seems like a good place to start, actually. And Thorn is offering a Brighid course online that I may pick up, though I can’t decide if it will be in addition to or in place of Fiat LVX. I have a new edition of Evolutionary Witchcraft waiting for me as I type at Powell’s – it’s on my phone’s reader, but that just ain’t cuttin’ it. My other copy is in Arizona, unfortunately.
So, to review…
- I will attend one SMART Recovery meeting a week, either in person or online.
- I will begin training with the Couch to 10K podcast for May’s 10K. CHECK
- I will stay sober. CHECK
- I will attend one therapy session each week.
- I will update my Circle of Support once a week. CHECK
- I will set up a schedule to avoid procrastination with my classes.
- I will set my altar up and find or create a meditation space.
- I will sit for at least 5 minutes each day, according to the practice outlined in Evolutionary Witchcraft. CHECK
I still have work to do. Classes start this week, as does therapy, so I expect more “checks” next week.
Thank you so much, all of you, for the emails and phone calls this week. It’s nice to know my friends are playing witness and offering support. I love you all so much, and I really do “feel” you at my back.