Crossroads in (later) recovery

chocolate chip cookiesThis post finds me at a crossroad.

I want to talk about recovery … the sober life … But I feel like a hypocrite.

So in the spirit of authenticity I will talk today about the personal hurdles I am facing these next weeks. Without detail I am having health issues. I start a 28-day detox this Tuesday. Not an alcohol detox, but a body (aka colon) detox.

I am scared, pissed, irritated, angry, and confused.

I’ve spent the week pondering:

    • “Why me?”
    • “Maybe there’s another way?”
    • “I’ll do anything but this.”
    • “What if …?”

I just want to back out of the whole thing. I want to wake up and believe it’s all a bad dream. Problem is … I’m not waking up. So I carry around these feelings that I’d rather not have, question things that needn’t be questioned, and escape with television.

With the exception of a brief moment at the market, the thought of drinking has not been an issue. Thursday night I passed my ex-favorite chardonnay in the grocery aisle and the little bear on the label said, “Hi.” Thursday night I said, “Hi,” back. Ugh, what was I thinking? Apparently I wasn’t. I kept the cart moving. My only thought being, you can’t have me.

Here I am at the next competency in the series and I chuckle at the synchronicity of it all.

Part three of five in the 5-Key Competencies.

Competency Three: I Can be Navigated 

Competency Three is about trust. Am I willing to trust a previously unknown or misunderstood source/entity? Am I willing to be guided by thinking outside of me, yet resonates within me?

The parallels between my choosing sobriety and my upcoming health detox are eerily similar. I feel all the same resistance. All the same anger. All the same unfairness. It is almost embarrassing how my mind has regressed to this place of being scrambled. I sit telling myself that I “get” to step into Competency Three, but all I am feeling is I have too. It’s so hard to feel grateful for something you really don’t think you even might, want to do, sort of do, maybe want to do, but you have to, so you better be grateful for it. (Again, ugh. I hope only addicts are reading today. I know that sentence makes sense to you.)

… Back to the competency.

I feel like I’m getting sober all over again. How can this possibly be throwing me?  Yet it is.

Then it was alcohol and drugs. Now it is sugar, caffeine, white flour, starch, processed anything … for the next 28 days.

Maybe I am scared because these have all been my go-to tools, satisfying me in the absence of alcohol. Maybe I haven’t healed at all? Maybe my recovery is a sham? After all, I love sugar. Like I giggle with my 12-step friends “They don’t serve wine at OA meetings, why do we serve sugar?”


… Back to the competency.

Here is what I know, despite myself. I want to trust the process. I believe that my doctor has my best interest in suggesting the detox. I am willing to trust him. I believe this will help me on many levels: Increased awareness, stamina, overall health, clarity etc. I am willing to trust the process of detox. It doesn’t mean I am free of fear. It means I am going to step in anyway and do this because I choose a healthy life.

To be navigated, I must first choose to go somewhere. Next, I receive directions and tools for getting there, and third I act upon this guidance. Competency Three is: To ask for, to receive, and to act upon guidance. So for today I’m doing well. I have asked for help. I have received some initial direction by way of the detox. Now it is my job to follow through. No excuses.

Next week I’ll delve further into Competency Three and how the three parts synergize for my greatest good. (I see I am having trouble sticking to the competency. So with the intent of actually covering it, I commit to a deeper post next weekend.) Ugh.

And, in the spirit of asking, I now ask for your loving thoughts as I embark on a feat I am petrified to undertake—yet more petrified not to.

On that note, I’m having a cookie today because I can. I’ll savor every bite.


No Responses to “Crossroads in (later) recovery

  • Lisa-
    On Wednesday I will be starting a similar process related to musculoskeletal issues. Want the benefits. Don’t want to have to do the “hard stuff.” Don’t want to do what someone ELSE thinks will be “good for me.” Know perfectly well I’m lousy at managing this area of my life, but…. but… BUT….

    So, once again, this came at an amazingly apropos time, and your feelings and thoughts resonate for me. Thanks. Please keep it up! You have a terrific gift for putting feelings into words.

    • My goodness, I am so glad I “shared” … I’ll be thinking of you this week. We can be each other’s support team. Being the good addict that I am, I looked for every other solution. Alas, I am here. There can be no more “but” …

      Glad I have you! Thank you for always writing words of encouragement. xox

  • Definitely keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Whoa- that sounds tough…I am definitely a sugar addict- and junk food junkie. But I too recently- have drastically cut most of that out for various health reasons also- mainly because for me it was triggering my ED (eating disorder and specifically bulimia). I’ve found recently, for me, if I stick to mostly proteins and carbs through veggies and fruits (blah) I am much less triggered. So, although I’m sure in a much different way, I do understand the struggle. Hang in there- we can keep each other accountable! 🙂

    • Oh, it’s so nice to have support out there. I’m going to nip this in the bud and see what’s causing me problems. If I can eliminate alcohol, I can eliminate anything. I have to just keep doing what works and not resisting the process. You give me hope. Thank you for the kind words. I will remain accountable with you. Promise. Lots of love, Me

      • ‘Clean’ chocolate protein banana smoothie for breakfast this morning 😉 baby steps… Thinking of you!

        • I cannot express enough gratitude for the love you’re sending my way. I simply have the best friends on the internet. Thank you for the encouragement … “baby steps” is my motto for this day. I really needed to read that right now. xox me

  • I know exactly how you feel! Twenty years I decided to go on a Macrobiotic food plan if, (as my doctor predicted) I didn’t want to find myself in an emergency room or heavily medicated for asthma.
    It was a very hard decision, very isolating,had my ups and many downs and was literally saved by O.A and the amazing dedication of my (angel) sponsor. It was a very long journey…of self-discovery too 🙂
    My thoughts and prayers will be with you with all my very best wishes for success and a very good health!

    • You always give me hope. I know you have walked through much from following your blog. Whatever this is, I can overcome it. I feel so much respect for getting sober. It set a foundation for new challenges. I am reminded that sometimes I want to be finished with a task only to be reminded (by the Universe) that I am just getting started. Evolution brings forth new challenges. Thanks for the support. xox Lisa

      • It is indeed a long journey nevertheless, I must say it’s full of brightness and color too.
        It’s what makes us even more grateful to be alive and appreciate the moments that we would’ve normally categorized as boring and recognize them as thee essence of life.
        Again, my prayers go to you… you’ll see, it’ll be all right 🙂

  • Thinking of you, Lisa, and wishing you the best! Not long ago, I chose to start eating a more gluten free diet to help deal with my digestive problems along with my anxiety. I LOVE cake, cookies and brownies, etc. but unfortunately, my body doesn’t! So….long story short: I stuck with it and got into somewhat committed routine and feel a lot better. Imagine that?! It’s scary now (like getting sober), but I’m guessing after those 28 days you’re going to feel amazing! In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Take care!

    • I love how you wrote you loved the treats but your body didn’t. My body doesn’t either (much like alcohol). I feel gratitude for your kind words and encouragement. I love that so many of my cyber friends have walked this path already and are here to support and cheer me on. It means everything to know that you’ve done it and so can I. Will keep you posted. Lots of love, me

  • Oh Lisa, how to convey the compassion I feel for you right now. You will get through this and I suspect somewhere between week 1 and 2 you’ll really start to feel better. Giving up sugar, caffeine and refined foods is much like the early days of not drinking. Find replacement routines and treats and use them. Pineapple and grapes are higher sugar fruits that my body seems to crave when I’m trying to be good otherwise. I also love green tea (some swear that it reduces sugar cravings) but I believe it does contain some caffeine. Also love my herbals teas.

    You’re not alone in this…sending warm thoughts your way and wishing your health returns to you in ways you didn’t even know possible.

    • I had some suspicions about my health when you were doing your sugar detox. How wonderful to feel your support. Thanks for the suggestions. I am both scared and relieved. Exactly as I felt the day of alcohol detox. It always gets better, so I’m going to stick with that thought. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

  • Lisa – I am sorry to hear you are going to go through this (however you experience this, that is) and the underlying fears and the unknown linked to this sort of deal. I understand what you are going through, in terms of removing yourself from some of the things that we gravitate towards in our earthly desires. I felt like that not only with the alcohol (obviously), but when I removed sugar from my diet. (Update – I fully relapsed on my sugar thing after like 3-4 months. Sigh. I know I am going to give it another shake, but will have to bring something like your competencies with me!)

    I can’t think that the things that I go to, post-booze – i.e sugar, recovery (as I spoke about recently), etc. make me “not sober”. But what I am finding is that there are still underlying causes and conditions which are tying me to those behaviours and attachments. I am starting to get that this is going to be a lifelong kind of thing…uncovering, discovering and discarding / applying.

    I do understand that statement about gratitude…under duress (it would seem so at the time) and it does feel like it’s something that we feel we need to do and yet we don’t see the inherent gift in it. I get like that too, and it’s only after some initial hand-wringing and then follow up guidance, work and reflection that I often see that what I went through really is something I am grateful for. Not easy to see on the front side.

    But I love what you said about trusting the process. Or at least looking for the willingness to trust the process. It does get there.

    I wish you nothing but the best in this, Lisa! I am sending cooling Canadian vibes down your way and know that you’ll be thought of even more.

    Love and light,

    • Paul, You are always “intense” for me to read. I have gotten to replying to your comments after much thought. I just realized you have always done this. You “like” then post a comment the next day. I love that you are so available emotionally. AND you do this with everyone, not just me. Where do you find the time?

      In (actual) reply to the comment, I see it this way: “Sober” to me means pushing the envelope every possible way (in order that I grow/evolve). It means continuously enlarging my territory. Some days my “territory” is on the couch with popcorn watching TV. But at times (like now), my sober territory is a detox from processed foods. For me, if I want to stay sober from booze it’s simply time to step into this new way of living via how I eat. I love that I have learned that both are ok and BOTH are important for me as a human.

      As we so often say, the problem was not the booze, but my thinking. I believe this is why I love life coaching so much. Before I can encourage another to do something I must have already done it myself. Not mastered it, just done it with a measure of quantifiable success. Then, and only then, can I walk another through it.

      You have been an incredible gift to my sobriety and my coaching. You always make me think.

      love and light and angels too

  • I can imagine how this feels like stepping into Day 1 – I hope you can draw on your memory of that path and use it for strength on this one. Sounds like a great time to try some kale chips! Hang in there, and look forward to reading about this journey.

    • Yes, it feels exactly the same. Still scary, but I did it once with booze, so I’m going to step in again. It means the WORLD to me to have your support. I feel so blessed with friends on this blog. It is so wonderful to have buddies as I journey. I will keep you posted.
      ps. kale chips here I come

  • Awww Lisa…. I’m so sorry you’re having some health issues. Nothing too serious I hope.

    Change can be very scary, even positive change, especially if it’s not initially wanted (yep, I totally get that addict-to-addict statement.) I found too that in my recovery, I’m even more resistant to change, still trying to control my environment by micromanaging little life details. Which is ok if everything is my choice or my plan, but if someone tries to change my plans, well I swirl into an initial panic until I come to acceptance (I call that my “processing” or “decompressing” stage.)

    Maybe try to focus on the positives, and think of all the good things that can come from a detox.

    Will you be following a doctor’s plan? If not, or if you just want to do some research, the Whole 30 is a pretty good plan:

    Do you follow Michele at MishedUp (she’s on my blog roll)? She did the Whole 30 in Jan while bbb, I and a few other ladies tried a modified limited sugar plan. She said her health benefits were tremendous! More energy, less aches and pains, better breathing.

    I’m glad you opened up and shared what was going on. We all love you and I know we’ll all support you however we can. Big hugs, C

    • Hey Cutie,
      I am on a very specific detox. Again, I tried on my own failed (sobriety 2003 so I went with the pro detox in 2004). I am mostly excited at this point. The hard part was the before making the decision part.

      I do not know Michelle. But I have seen her around. I will go and find her site and say hi.

      Thanks for the love.

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