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We're supporting each other (alcohol-free)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tonight I am finishing up 30 Days completely alcohol-free. And I'm proud of me. But I'm even more proud of my sweetheart, Johnny, who is finishing up Day Number 5.

Why is 5 even better than 30 you ask ?

Because Johnny was much more addicted to alcohol. He drank beer all day- every day. And he has had alcohol-related seizures and going through withdrawal from alcohol at home could have been dangerous. I was prepared to call 911. However, he did have some anti-seizure medicine which helped for a couple days. Now he's feeling fine and filling up on hot cocoa and Kool-Aid. Hopefully he will gain some weight as he was dangerously skinny.

Johnny is completely committed to NEVER drinking again. He knows that if he has a drink now, he could very well have a seizure. He never wants to go through that again.

Now I need to be alcohol-free - not only for ME (and my health) but also for Johnny (that I don't tempt him to start drinking again).

I read that "anybody can quit drinking - it's the STAYING QUIT that's hard".

That is true for me on my "One Month Anniversary". I have to admit I miss alcohol. Today I was having "heart palpitations" (a pounding heart) for no apparent reason. I didn't even have any caffeine. I thought to myself that an alcoholic beverage would calm me down. But we're not having any alcohol in our house anymore to tempt us. I took a common Benadryl and my heart calmed down. I suppose it was an "anxiety attack". Next time I go to the doctor, I'm going to ask him about why I get a "Pounding heartbeat". I've been on a 24 hour heart monitor in the past and it was normal. I'm thinking my adrenal glands pump out too much adrenaline (epinephrine) which affects my heart.

Well tomorrow is my "payday" and I will again be very tempted to buy alcohol. We always "partied" on payday. But no more. I'm planning on picking up some 7-UP for Johnny and Club Soda with Cranberry Juice for me. I'll make our drinks a little special with a wedge of fresh lime.

I'm going to have a long walk tomorrow as well - around 2 1/2 miles. I haven't been getting enough exercise lately. I've got to get back to walking.

I'm really disappointed that I haven't lost any weight in my 30 days alcohol-free. I need to start watching what I eat more. For the first month I was just concentrating on NOT drinking and I was snacking A LOT. Now I've got to cut back in the food department as well.

The main thing, however, is that we need to continue supporting each other in our new lifestyle. I'd like to think that my example helped to encourage Johnny to follow suit.

We're getting healthy together.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINE1623 12/2/2014 8:20PM

    emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/2/2014 8:20:58 PM

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CHRISTINE1623 12/2/2014 8:19PM

    I am very happy for you and Johnny. God answers prayers. Please stay strong!

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1CRAZYDOG 12/1/2014 1:30PM

    Good for both of you!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 12/1/2014 7:50AM

    You are doing so well ! And what a challenge and achievement for Johnny.....yes, so much harder for him. He is lucky he has you there to be with him through it all.
Maybe you could try deep breathing to calm down?

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CAPECODBABE 12/1/2014 6:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUST_BRENDA 12/1/2014 5:34AM

    Happy NEW BEGINNINGS!!!
You can both do this Val!

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NOMORESHMOO 12/1/2014 12:28AM

    emoticon emoticon
You both will feel better in the long run.

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PURPLEPEONY 11/30/2014 11:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEWILL2 11/30/2014 11:02PM

    Good for you and good luck on your journey

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KEEPITUP62 11/30/2014 11:01PM

    Congratulations for you and Johnny! I am so proud of you both for being able to go without the alcohol.

I lost my brother a couple years ago who had cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism and now my other brother has the same condition. He keeps trying to quit but it is hard I know.

I do not drink so I can only imagine the hardship of getting past such an addiction. I am a former smoker so I know what it is like to go through withdrawal.

I am just happy for you and Johnny and will pray that you continue to keep your strength and stay away from the alcohol and find a diversion that will make you healthy. emoticon

All the best
Susan emoticon

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I'm on a Perpetual Vacation

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


It's Thanksgiving time, and although I thank God daily for all my blessings, this is a special time to remember what we are grateful for. I am immeasurable grateful to God for my wonderful LIFE, because:
"I'm on a perpetual vacation" !

I'm retired from the medical field and live ON the Gulf of Mexico in Florida with the love of my life, Johnny.

I frequently walk the 3/4 mile down to the beach and sit on the two-person wooden swing and watch the sun sink down into the water. One time a nice middle aged lady sat down with me and we began to chat. She was here on business for a week, setting up the computers at a new local bank in our little town on a big highway. She exclaimed at how beautiful the sunset was. She remarked that people come from all over the world to vacation here in Florida and asked where "I" was from. I said, "I live HERE, right down the street. I've been in Florida for over 30 years."

And I don't have a job. Yes, it's true. I'm on a Perpetual Vacation in Florida. Life doesn't get better than that.

Recently a friend asked if I had a "bucket list". No, I really don't. I'm living my dream right now. My favorite thing to do in the entire world is "hang-out" with my sweetheart, listening to music and talking for hours. It's always like we're on a "date", getting to know each other, sharing our lives, talking about our kids, remembering happy times we've spent together over the past 8 years. We love each other so much. We have a beautiful life together.

We love to decorate our apartment. I picked out the colors; the landlords paid for the paint; and Johnny repainted the entire apartment. We have loads of "trim" and he taped EVERYTHING and made perfectly straight lines. He did an excellent job. We're constantly acquiring new (used) furniture and rearranging. We both like a clean, neat environment and I actually enjoy straightening up and cleaning.

We have 4 pets that keep us entertained. Jasmine our 1/2 Sheltie keeps me quite busy as I need to take her out 3 times a day on a leash. Zeppelin our tiger-striped kitty cat (named after Johnny's favorite band) never grew up, as he was neutered young, and loves to play "fetch" with his little stuffed mouse. I never knew cats would actually play "fetch" (better than a dog). Metallica, our bright blue parakeet, really starts singing when Johnny plays his Metallica CD's. And then there's MUSE, my blue Siamese Fighting Fish (Beta). My son bought him for me, and I've managed to keep him swimming for almost 2 years now.

My two grown-up sons and my daughter-in-law visit me once a month when I prepare a special dinner (at lunchtime). I really love to cook - my favorite hobby. And they love to EAT. So we always have a great time.

Over the past 2 years with SparkPeople, I lost 40 pounds. Unfortunately I regained 15 and I'm now working on losing it again. I have to avoid alcohol in order to lose weight, and today I'm on day 26 alcohol-free. I was AF 107 days over the holidays last year. This time I feel there is no END. This needs to be a life-changing decision, for the rest of my life. But that scares me, so I try not to dwell on it, and just take "one day at a time": no alcohol for TODAY. As Jesus said in Matthew 6: 34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

So I lead a quiet simple life. Our patio is on a canal than leads directly to the Gulf. You can see the Gulf at the end of it. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the entire world. When we win the lottery (not IF but WHEN), we're going to buy a house on the water right here in this area.

I have my sweetheart, my terrific sons, our pets, my wonderful mother, a beautiful apartment on the water, and we're on a perpetual vacation. Life doesn't get better than that.

I am SO GRATEFUL TO GOD for my life ! THANK YOU, FATHER !

Valerie

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 11/27/2014 9:28PM

    You are blessed!
I wish you all the best
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PURPLEPEONY 11/26/2014 6:04PM

    emoticon

emoticon Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

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JUST_BRENDA 11/26/2014 1:42PM

    Yes, your life does sound wonderful!
I admire your gratitude!

Is that picture near your home? I think it is. and I KNOW that's such an incredibly beautiful picture. AMAZING!!!!

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KNEEMAKER 11/26/2014 12:15PM

  Wonderful Wednesday! Keep on keeping on!

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MARGOH12 11/26/2014 11:45AM

    You seem to have a wonderful life. I'm so glad that you doa nd that you are greatful for your blessings.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/26/2014 11:44AM

    Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

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Take Time . . .

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Take time to pray . . . it helps to bring God near and washes the dust of earth from your eyes.

Take time for friends . . . they are the source of happiness.

Take time for work . . . it is the price of success.

Take time to think . . . it is the source of power.

Take time to read . . . it is the foundation of knowledge.

Take time to laugh . . . it is the singing that helps with life's loads.

Take time to love . . . it is the one sacrament of life.

Take time to dream . . . it hitches the soul to the stars.

Take time to play . . . it is the secret of youth.

Take time to worship . . . it is the highway to reverence .

---Author Unknown

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 11/24/2014 11:50AM

    nice thoughts to share!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/22/2014 8:20PM

    emoticon

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JAMBABY0 11/22/2014 7:02PM

    thanks for sharing

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JO88BAKO 11/22/2014 6:37PM

    Amen

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My Version of HALT

Friday, November 14, 2014

I've heard for many years of the acronym, HALT, when you're tempted to have a drink.

It stands for Hungry - Angry - Loneliness - Tired

When you want a drink, you're supposed to stop and ask yourself if that urge is really one of these things, and then satisfy that need in a healthier way. It works for some people. But for me - these things aren't what tempt me to have a drink. I've come up with a few other words that I can relate to better:

l. "H" for me is for "Happy"

I'm a very happy person. I always want to celebrate something. Not only all the holidays, and birthdays, but paydays, and "date nights" with my sweetie, and visits with friends, or a meal at a restaurant, or a special purchase delivered to my door. You name it. I want to mark the occasion and enjoy the "good times". And I've come to believe that every occasion needs to have an alcoholic beverage.

My sweetie and I are going on a picnic at the beach - I want to bring along a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. We're having a Bar-B-Que on our patio - I want to have cold beer in a bottle. It's Cinco de Mayo - let's have margaritas. It's New Year's Eve - got to have champagne or Asti Spumante. What is Christmas Eve without Egg Nog ? You get the idea.

A new friend, BEECEE39, turned me on to a great "mocktail": Seltzer water or Club Soda with a splash of Cranberry Juice in a tall tumbler. I added a wedge of lime. It looks so festive and pretty and it's not "too sweet", but cold and refreshing. I love it. It's going to be my new "go to" beverage. I don't need alcohol. I can celebrate anything with my new "Cranberry Fizz".

2. "A" is for - "ANXIETY"

Dr Phil says that "anger" is usually really "hurt" or "frustration". That is so true for me. I don't think that I experience "anger" very often. But "anxiety" - I have that all the time, so I'm going to use the "A" for that.

I have an over-active adrenal gland, and frequently have way too much adrenaline surging through my body. I can feel it. If someone says something upsetting to me - I feel a wave of adrenaline through my stomach as if I just headed down on a roller coaster. Often for no apparent reason, I have "heart palpitations" or a pounding heart that feels like anxiety. I want to have a drink to "calm down" my racing heart. I've been on a 24 hours heart monitor and my heart is healthy. It's just that darn adrenaline which I interpret as "anxiety".

So if my urge to drink is really "anxiety" (heart palpitations), I'm going to take a nap, take a bubble bath, or take a walk. One of those three should relax me and slow down my heart rate. (Caffeine has a lot to do with it as well, so I really need to eliminate that.)

3. "L" is for "Lounging Around"

I have a wonderful sweetheart and we're together almost 24/7 (which we love) so I'm rarely "lonely". But since we are retired, I have tons of free time, and spend a lot of time just "lounging around". A nice beverage with a good movie is a nice way to pass the time. Or when one of our favorite TV shows comes on, I'd love to mix a drink to enjoy while we watch it. And then there's all the time I spend on the computer, especially late at night if my sweetie goes to bed early. I love to have a drink to relax me and make me sleepy enough to go to bed. Sometimes we play music on YouTube for hours, and Johnny is always drinking. I want one too, of course.

Lately I've been getting in the habit of having just ice water to sip while we "lounge around". Now I'm going to try the "Cranberry Fizz". I can have just as good of a time WITHOUT the alcohol, (and remember it).

"T" is for "Triggers"

There are also other times and things, that especially "trigger" the urge to have a drink. One of those is after making love. I've never smoked, but I understand a lot of smokers really want to "light up" after sex. Well, during "after-glow", I usually have an urge to have a drink. I've tried drinking a large glass of cold water afterwards - and that has usually done the trick to get past the urge. I think I'm really just thirsty.

Another time is when friends have dropped by to hang out and visit. They bring along alcohol to share, and not only are they drinking in front of me, but the alcohol is FREE. We've told one couple that they definitely cannot bring hard liquor over to our place ever again. If they visit - they can only bring beer. One time a neighbor offered us a free bottle of tequila. It was just a gift. I really had to be strong to say "No, thanks" to her. I can resist going to the liquor store to buy something, but when it's delivered free to our door, it is REALLY difficult to resist.

So that's HALT for me: HAPPY, ANXIOUS, LOUNGING AROUND, or TRIGGERED

When I get an urge to have a drink, I'm going to ask myself if it is really one of these occasions. And then I'll take steps to act accordingly. Alcohol can no longer be the "answer" for me. I can't stop after "one" or "two" - so don't even get started. No more.

HALT.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLEMIDG 11/15/2014 12:58AM

    Awesome. Good for you.

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CHRISTINE1623 11/14/2014 5:41PM

    Great blog! Very insightful! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 11/14/2014 3:46PM

    Good for you for doing what is going to work for you . . . and adjusting what doesn't along the way.



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My New Vision Board

Tuesday, November 04, 2014



Here it is: My New Vision Board which reads "ALCOHOL - FREE"

I want to remain "positive" about my new status in life. I've got lots of positive words to reminds me of the benefits of being alcohol-free which include:

Save Money
Be Healthier
More Energy
Better Sex
Better Relationships
Better Sleep

I love the photo of the girl - she looks so healthy and happy.

I have lots of pink hearts and sparkles.
This new vision board just makes me SMILE when I look at it.

The KEY phrase is "Stay Positive - See Results"
That's so true isn't it ! ?

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

Every day that I remain "Alcohol-free" I get healthier and therefore, happier.
I'm alcohol-free.
I'm feeling good.
I'm gettier healthier.
I'm SMILING.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 11/5/2014 1:41PM

    best wishes to you!
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EVER-HOPEFUL 11/5/2014 4:54AM

    emoticon emoticonso proud of you love. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLEMIDG 11/5/2014 12:19AM

    Wonderful idea. Keep up the great work.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/4/2014 8:40PM

    Awesome!

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JUST_BRENDA 11/4/2014 8:26PM

    Lovely job on the vision board!
Very insipiring!

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