• Wvlheel posted an update 11 months ago

    Hey everyone, quick check in – we are fine here in eastern NC. It’s been a tough couple of days but my family is safe and my home is fine. Due to the storm track we didn’t get the worst of the winds, thank goodness. There’s lots of devestation in southern and coastal NC, and the flooding will continue for a while.

    Thanks to all of you for thinking of me. The beach place is a mystery because no one is allowed to drive around and give updates due to curfew laws. However, the local authorities are reporting no significant structural damages to properties, so we are very hopeful.

    Regardless we are safe, thanks for your concern!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 11 months, 1 week ago

    @freedom1025 and @reena – thanks for thinking of me. I’m still around, I don’t spend much time here lately but still get the email updates. I’m doing pretty good, in fact.

    Unfortunately we are smack dad in the middle of the path of this storm and it is a monster. I’ve already mentally “written off” the beach place. I’m pretty sure there is no way it will survive these winds / surge. That’s a first world problem, I’m much more worried about my personal home and surrounding community. I live far enough from the coast / rivers that flooding is not a real concern and my brick home won’t get blown over. However, the rainwater and flooding and lack of power and being isolate is going to be a really tough go for a while.

    Again, thanks for thinking of me – things should get interesting for us come Thursday evening.

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year ago

    Good morning everyone – long time no see. I’ve been absent for a while and that is on me. I’m going to try and make this a more regular stop moving forward.

    This morning I was hit with a huge feeling of “I fucking love sober and clear headed mornings!”

    Last night at 9pm (Sunday) my head hit the pillow sober and grateful for the feeling of anticipating a solid night’s sleep. Unfortunately I woke up at 2am, probably due to mild anxiety over the work week ahead. This used to be a regular occurrence when I was drinking. I would wake up at 2am on Sunday, unable to sleep, and in terror of the next day (since I was still drunk and desperately needed to “sleep it off”).

    Last night was so different. I woke up at 2am but just lay there – mildly annoyed – but completely aware that I would only be sleepy this morning and NOT FUCKING HUNG OVER! That made me feel content and I eventually drifted back to sleep. So here I am, a little groggy but grateful for my clear eyes and head.

    1. I am grateful to have this place to return to when I need it.

    2. I am grateful for the relationship I have with my two children still in the house. (I’m grateful for my oldest son, too – but our relationship is still on the mend).

    3. I am grateful to be on vacation next week. The work week before a vacation just feels so different.

    Go lightly everyone. Thanks for the shout out the other day @reena.

    • Lovely to see you here.
      I am grateful for
      1. LS and @Mrs-D
      2. All the wonderful people here
      3. And all the other wonderful people here!

    • Good to see you here, friend. Don’t miss those 2 am wake-up sessions one bit! I would lay there awake, kicking myself for drinking, filled with shame and despair. Yuck. As always, love your gratitude list. Hope things with your oldest continue to heal.

    • Glad to see you and hear that you and yours are doing well.

    • G’morning Wv, good to see you.

    • Nice to see you and read your gratitude list..which reminds Me of all I am grateful for. Thanks for stopping by:).

    • Ro replied 1 year ago

      Great to hear from you @wvlheel all sounds good at your end. Going fishing next week?

    • reena replied 1 year ago

      @wvlheel, so glad to hear you are still going forward. Sometimes I think about folks that left and wonder if they went back to drinking…. still our hero here!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 1 month ago

    I am sorry for your friend (and you) @chardano.

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 1 month ago

    Good morning everyone – just wanted to check in and remind everybody that clear headed mornings are fucking amazing!

    1. I am grateful for the visit we got with my son last night. He was in town for a doctors appointment and we were able to have dinner together.
    2. I am grateful for the visit I took yesterday on behalf of my company where I work. Five of us visited a local rehab center to learn more about what they do – we are considering a donation. The place was amazing and the visit was uplifting.
    3. I am grateful next week is a holiday week and will be slow here at work!

    Go lightly everyone.

    • @wvlheel – they are amazing!! and thankful we have come to see the light!!!

    • Hi @Wvlheel. I have not been on to see your posts in a while. Glad you could see your son. Hope he is coming along well. My daughter is stable and steady for a while now. Not sure I will ever stop looking over my shoulder, though. Sending wishes for you and your family to have some great times together this summer!

    • I was just thinking that exact same thing this morning, i was making coffee, let the dog out, and took a nice big long stretch and thought to myself “shit this feels amazing!!”

      Have a great day, friend!

    • So nice to see you! Your list of gratitudes is a good one. So glad you got to have some nice time with your son.

    • Good to “see” you @Wvlheel always a treat to read what you’re thankful for, It reminds me to make my list as well. #1 would be the new custom blinds installed at work today 🙂 I can now raise them and look at all the beautiful PNW trees around my office. How is your daughter doing?

    • I am grateful that I woke up to see this post from you. I often wonder how you are.
      Much love from down here in cold foggy Auckland x

    • Love this so much. Thanks for checking in!!!
      oxoxoxox

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 1 month ago

    All good @tom4500. Kids are doing pretty good – eldest is always going to be a challenge. I’m just chugging along. Hope you are well.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Lovely post friend -thanks for sharing.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    I saw one of your other posts and went looking around in your profile – just found this one @begoodtomyself. I don’t spend enough time here anymore. I hope you are feeling better. The only thing tougher than money troubles are kid troubles. I’ve had both (as I know you have too).

    We will persevere. Good luck.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    @ro, I’ve been down some awfully dark paths with my eldest son and I truly wish you some peace. I wish I could wave a wand and make it better – NO parent should ever have to watch their child suffer.

    It isn’t fair, that’s just the reality of it and I will tell anyone that – I don’t believe in “suffering making you stronger” or “god only gives you what you can endure” or any of that bullshit. Sometimes life just isn’t fair and I truly feel for you and hope with all of my heart that it can somehow get better for her (and you).

    The only thing I can say and offer to you that may help – is the biggest regret that I have is I wasn’t sober when my son was going through his worst times. I will always regret that I wasn’t 100% present to try and help him – but I’ve forgiven myself for that. You are doing the best you can but I know that is much easier for me to say than for you to appreciate.

    Healing thoughts heading your way – all I can do.

    • I’m with you on the pithy epithets – although suffering is supposed to heighten your compassion. I am glad I’m sober and clean now but I haven’t quite gotten to the forgiving myself part. I just wasn’t there for emotionally my kids a lot and as a consequence have a shitty relationship with both of them. Thanks for your kind words it does mean a lot, especially coming from someone that has been ‘there’ in a similar sense @wvlheel

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Awesome – 200 days is a big frickin’ deal @mullycatNZ. Well done.

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 2 months ago

    Good morning everyone. Today is Tuesday here in North Carolina. I’d like to share a text I got from my 18 year old daughter yesterday – many of you are so nice in remembering her medical issues and asking about her on occasion:

    “I’m just at a very peaceful place in my life. Idk after a rocky first year of college and then ______ breaking up with me, I’ve been a mess but I’m actually happy and focusing on me and it’s nice as fuck”

    I teared up a little. She’s been through a lot – too much – and is in a nice spot right now. I’m just going to enjoy it! She’s even found a job scooping ice cream and is enjoying making some real money this summer. I’m super proud of her and love her to pieces.

    I’m doing okay. “You are only as happy as your saddest child” – that statement is so true. My oldest son is still struggling but I’m doing my best to remain supportive and non-judgmental (while trying to keep up some semblance of a boundary). He just can’t seem to motivate and I can’t figure out if it is the anxiety or just plain laziness. I’m trying to encourage without alienating him – tricky tightrope to walk.

    1. I am grateful for the quiet week we had at work last week. I work in manufacturing and quiet=boring and boring=awesome! We love boring.

    2. I am grateful for my alma mater making the College World Series this year.

    3. I am grateful for the yummy breakfast I had this morning – avacado, cherries, assorted fruit and boiled egg. I feel so much better when I eat healthy.

    Love you all – go lightly.

    EDITED TO ADD – I am grateful as fuck for clear headed mornings! Yeee HA!

    • Hey missed those grateful lists! So relived and happy for you about your daughter, amazing! And know your son will come around boys take longer… don’t bash me .. but they do. Mine did for sure. He also went through rehab at a young age and embraced the lifestyle, he is a nurse mananger and has a beautiful family. It will happen for you son, with you now modeling your lifestyle changes I know it will be the lighthouse … @wvlheel.

    • This is so awesome to hear about your daughter! When our kids are happy, we’re happy. Hoping things work out for your son too. Sometimes they have to travel the rocky road on their own before popping out on the other side.

    • I’m so glad your daughter is going better. What a great text to get! And clear headed mornings? YES!

    • That’s wonderful, @Wvlheel. Your daughter is such a trooper! I’m very glad that she’s in a good place.

    • Glad your daughter is doing better @Wvlheel. Hoping that continues for her and you both.
      One of my sons has a baseball tournament in Omaha this weekend and will get to see a game or 2 of the College World Series games. Those are always fun.
      I too am still grateful for clear headed mornings 🙂

    • It’s 6am here and I’m meant to be sleeping as i have the day off to drive to see daughters surgeon a few hours away – woken up by a dream about it and a headache and it’s cold in my room and then I read that – ‘you’re only as happy as your saddest child’ and now I’m crying silently. Never read a truer word @wvlheel and with that statement I’ve basically figured out all my problems. I am not looking forward to what is going to happen today and neither the surgeon or I can fix her and she is incredibly sad which kills me. In a nutshell. You’re a bloody guru.
      I’m happy for you that your girl is so much better, some weight off your shoulders 🙂

      • @ro, I’ve been down some awfully dark paths with my eldest son and I truly wish you some peace. I wish I could wave a wand and make it better – NO parent should ever have to watch their child suffer.

        It isn’t fair, that’s just the reality of it and I will tell anyone that – I don’t believe in “suffering making you stronger” or “god only gives you what you can endure” or any of that bullshit. Sometimes life just isn’t fair and I truly feel for you and hope with all of my heart that it can somehow get better for her (and you).

        The only thing I can say and offer to you that may help – is the biggest regret that I have is I wasn’t sober when my son was going through his worst times. I will always regret that I wasn’t 100% present to try and help him – but I’ve forgiven myself for that. You are doing the best you can but I know that is much easier for me to say than for you to appreciate.

        Healing thoughts heading your way – all I can do.

        • I’m with you on the pithy epithets – although suffering is supposed to heighten your compassion. I am glad I’m sober and clean now but I haven’t quite gotten to the forgiving myself part. I just wasn’t there for emotionally my kids a lot and as a consequence have a shitty relationship with both of them. Thanks for your kind words it does mean a lot, especially coming from someone that has been ‘there’ in a similar sense @wvlheel

    • Hi @wvlheel So glad your daughter is on the up and what a lovely email to receive. Your son will be ok too because he has you! ‘Totally present and nurturing’ Both recipes for success 🙂 Hope you are getting some fishing in. My man took miss 18..(today) and her bf fishing in the weekend and they had a blast. Apparantly wrangled a few fish off some very pesky albatross and all came home happy as clams. So good to hear from you @wvlheel We miss you here x

    • Hey, nice to see you @wvlheel, and great to read your girl doing so well.
      Our time of trials continues but I’m determined not to give away my peace and joy without a fight 🙂 which TBH is easier said than done. So I keep practising. We had a close call with Mr17 and drugs recently, I think he frightened himself as much as us. He sought help from our GP and is better-long may it last. Mr26 is still trying to find his way. Ms19 is a wee ray of sunshine. Regardless, I love them all deeply and fiercely and am eternally grateful to be here now for them. Thank goodness for our awakening and moving to the light, sobriety is such a gift and not to be taken for granted .
      Go well today, my friend xx

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    You should be proud of yourself and we are proud of you too! Congratulations!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    good morning friend. I love your post.

    • Thanks so much!!!!
      oxxoxox

      And I love seeing your name pop up here.
      By the way, I have a lovely new batch of summer semester students at my community college, and had to think of your kids. Some of mine are in similar situations as your daughter or son, and knowing about your family has made me more compassionate towards their needs and life situation.

      So thank you for that. It cracked a door in my heart a bit more open. Gave them all a good speech the first day, no dropouts/withdrawals so far and they are on their way. 🙂

      I even changed how I test and from now on students can choose if they feel anxious in the classroom to go take tests/exams in our quiet testing center instead. So you sharing this had a direct effect on it.

      Have a lovely weekend!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    My wife isn’t drinking right now as she’s trying a new eating program. She’s a 1-2 glass a night “normie” (is that really what we call normal?). I have to admit, it is nice not having it around me right now. I don’t particularly mind her drinking because I don’t like wine very much, but NOT having it around is a welcome change.

    The diet will end in two weeks, so I’ll enjoy this break for now.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Awww…..I’m blushing. This site welcomed me with open arms 2.5 years ago. I’m just giving back, but thank you.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    I just realized the symmetry of that number @lizzy – thanks for the reminder!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    @virtualsue – I have to share this (quickly) because I am at work.

    When I stopped drinking my life was absolute shit. My oldest son was in rehab for drug addiction. Our family life was in shambles. My wife was on the verge of giving up / walking out.

    I drive to work each morning in the very early hours of the day. It is dark when I leave the house. There were mornings during that time of my life when I felt like I was driving into hell. My life was completely out of control and spiraling. I had brief thoughts of just allowing my car to drift off the side of the next overpass – thinking “everyone will be better off”. I won’t say those were serious thoughts of suicide, but it is an indication of how awful things were at the time.

    Right in the middle of that my son graduated from high school (within the program) and was released to come home. He demanded that I quit drinking before he arrived. I did, with much hesitation. I had no real choice if I wanted to repair our relationship.

    That was over two years ago. My life is completely different now. My life isn’t perfect and we’ve had (and continue to have) significant challenges. I haven’t been perfect either, but I’m so much better. My life is so much better.

    I’m writing all of this because your post reminded me from where I’ve traveled. When you described “I can barely breathe” that is exactly how I existed for over a year toward the end of it. Now I breathe deeply and fully as I meditate many mornings on my way to work. I feel like there is a future and I’m working toward it.

    You can do this. Stopping during a crisis may not be the “best” way but it may be your path? That’s how I did it.

    Good luck.

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 2 months ago

    Good morning from rainy and grey North Carolina. Today is Thursday and the beginning of my weekend (once i make it through the next 8 hours). 787 days ago, Thursday night meant the beginning of a 3 day bender. Every weekend I would amp up my regular alcohol consumption to ridiculous weekend levels. Every Monday I would promise myself that I wouldn’t do that again.

    Then I stopped.

    Tonight I will come home from work, cook a dinner, clean up a bit and go to bed early. Tomorrow I will wake up (hopefully) well-rested and (definitely) clear eyed. I will have 3 days to do what I want, how I want. I will try to be productive and not beat myself up if I’m not. I hope to go fishing and spend a little time on the beach. I won’t be hungover, fuzzy headed or lose hours of my day just sitting and pouring beers down my throat. This is better.

    1. I am grateful for the light day I have at work today. I only have a meeting or two, not the usual slog of 5+ hours. YAY!

    2. I am grateful for the team of professionals I have assigned to me. I get frustrated sometimes but overall I am lucky to have all of them.

    3. I am grateful that my wife went to the gym yesterday! The whole30 diet seems to be helping her joint pain to the point she feels like exercising again. Baby steps are great!

    Have a great weekend everyone. Go lightly

    • @wvlheel congrats on D787 and thanks for your positive outlook … I always appreciate your gratitude list.

    • Hi just joined after reading both Mrs D books and your post just makes me want to get to where you are and stop drinking. I’m going through a personal crisis at the moment and know I’m using alcohol to numb it. I always have an excuse. So perhaps I need to think about it differently. Perhaps stopping during a crisis is the best way? The weekend ahead is full of opportunities to drink (1) concert (with obligatory cocktails before hand), (2) relatives visiting (who will come armed with bottles of wine) and of course (3) my life crisis that is like a big dark cloud hanging over me and (4) my husband who is also drinking to excess. Writing this, I feel out of control. I am having moments when I can barely breathe. Thank you for your post which gives me hope that I can stop this roller coaster ride and get off.

      • @virtualsue – I have to share this (quickly) because I am at work.

        When I stopped drinking my life was absolute shit. My oldest son was in rehab for drug addiction. Our family life was in shambles. My wife was on the verge of giving up / walking out.

        I drive to work each morning in the very early hours of the day. It is dark when I leave the house. There were mornings during that time of my life when I felt like I was driving into hell. My life was completely out of control and spiraling. I had brief thoughts of just allowing my car to drift off the side of the next overpass – thinking “everyone will be better off”. I won’t say those were serious thoughts of suicide, but it is an indication of how awful things were at the time.

        Right in the middle of that my son graduated from high school (within the program) and was released to come home. He demanded that I quit drinking before he arrived. I did, with much hesitation. I had no real choice if I wanted to repair our relationship.

        That was over two years ago. My life is completely different now. My life isn’t perfect and we’ve had (and continue to have) significant challenges. I haven’t been perfect either, but I’m so much better. My life is so much better.

        I’m writing all of this because your post reminded me from where I’ve traveled. When you described “I can barely breathe” that is exactly how I existed for over a year toward the end of it. Now I breathe deeply and fully as I meditate many mornings on my way to work. I feel like there is a future and I’m working toward it.

        You can do this. Stopping during a crisis may not be the “best” way but it may be your path? That’s how I did it.

        Good luck.

    • Wonderful gratitude list….go easy and have a great weekend.

    • 787 days is a rather fabulous number @wvlheel 🙂 Life is really so much better now isnt it!
      And you have reminded me to keep practicing gratitude… so important. 🙂

    • Read you reply to virtualsue, @wvlheel. You’re my hero. You’ve got serious class.

      • Awww…..I’m blushing. This site welcomed me with open arms 2.5 years ago. I’m just giving back, but thank you.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    @enzedgirl made a great post and I highly recommend everyone read it. The reality of the way chronic alcohol consumption affects brain chemistry was a big eye opener for me.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    This sounds like hocus-pocus but I meditate. I honestly can tell a difference in my response to “stuff” when I am meditating regularly. I just process things more slowly, more deliberately, and I am able to pull myself away from the spiral of hopelessness.

    This is what helps me and I am NOT 100% perfect in doing it. This week I’ve gotten back into a more regular practice and I can see the difference.

    Good luck.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    I’m grateful to be sober (and hangover free) today too!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Ditto what @islandone said – JUST START. Walking is fine. A 30 minute walk at a moderate pace is a helluva lot better than doing nothing. Get a good pair of shoes and warm-up / stretch before starting. Don’t start an exercise program by trying to run, that’s a good recipe for an injury (I know this first hand). After a month or so of regular brisk walks you can maybe start a “run-walk” program. (run a short distance then walk, repeat).

    Good luck.

    We are currently doing the whole30 program. I really like it. The program is not (theoretically) designed for weight loss, but if you follow it you will certainly drop some weight. You might want to check it out.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    207 days is freakin’ awesome.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    @lizzy I gave in to some similar feelings at 18 months and wish I hadn’t. I got back on track but feel like I missed an opportunity to take things up a notch if that makes any sense.

    I think if I’d pushed through those tricky days I would’ve learned a new thing or two about myself.

    Glad you are talking openly about it. Good luck!

    • That makes perfect sense @wvlheel its definitely a sign of change, moving on to the next level. Just going to hang on in there! Thanks for your reply, it really helped. 🙂

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Welcome – this is a great place to find support.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    I feel for you @soberheart and thanks for sharing. I’m a “boss” and your post is a good reminder for me. I’m not the most patient person in the world.

    I’m sorry you have a tough go of it right now, but you’ve maybe helped someone else (my team) by posting today.

    Hang in there.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Oh yeah @liberty – holidays were always the biggest booze fest. We typically have Christmas and the following week off – I can remember so many times being absolutely disgusted with myself after literally drinking for 10+ days straight over the holiday!

    Ugh. No more.

    I’ve gotten back into meditating the last couple of weeks. I’m enjoying the practice again.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Congrats on Day 7 – that’s a big accomplishment (and most likely the hardest part).

    Whole30 is fine – harder than I expected just due to the food prep. I don’t mind the rigid diet. I find I feel really good physically (we’ve done this before). I just get a bit annoyed with the constant food planning / prep / cooking / cleaning.

    That part can become a drag. I wouldn’t recommend Whole30 in the early days of quitting alcohol. Tackle one demon at a time. You will already likely be experiencing sugar withdrawals from kicking the booze.

    Keep going you are doing great! If you are mostly paleo, doing whole30 won’t be too hard, but I’d wait a while.

    • Thanks, @wvlheel. I think food prep is the hardest thing about any whole food diet…Whole 30 or just paleo. I guess there’s a reason they called processed foods “convenience foods,” huh? LOL. I’ll take your advice about saving the Whole 30 for a bit into the future. Have enough to deal with for now with the alcohol and sugar withdrawals. Thanks, again. 🙂

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Well done buddy.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Congratulations buddy!

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 2 months ago

    Good morning everyone – quick check in here – it is Tuesday morning and I am (slowly) getting back into work mode. I had a nice 4 day weekend and I am feeling it this morning. The good news is I am completely clear headed and that never gets old. In the past the first day back after a holiday weekend was so awful. Four days of solid drinking would put me in a funk that lasted for days. It is so much better these days. I caught myself getting into bed at 9pm on Saturday night. Why? Because that’s what I felt like doing in that moment.

    Even after 785 days, sometimes the weekend nights can get a bit blah – so I just go to bed and remind myself how wonderful the next morning is going to feel!

    I hope you all are doing well out there.

    1. I am grateful this is only a 3 day work week for me! Hurrah!

    2. I am grateful for my youngest son. He gets overlooked a bit and I am lucky to have him.

    3. I am grateful today is day 15 of our whole30 diet – we are officially 1/2 way done!

    Mind the gap.

    • Hi @Wvheel. Great post! I feel the same today, though I’m only 7 days in, this time. But…that’s a whole week. Yay!!! Can’t believe how quickly you begin to feel better as that poison leaves your body. How’s the Whole 30 been? I’ve been thinking of trying it. I already do mostly paleo. Have a great day today.

      • Congrats on Day 7 – that’s a big accomplishment (and most likely the hardest part).

        Whole30 is fine – harder than I expected just due to the food prep. I don’t mind the rigid diet. I find I feel really good physically (we’ve done this before). I just get a bit annoyed with the constant food planning / prep / cooking / cleaning.

        That part can become a drag. I wouldn’t recommend Whole30 in the early days of quitting alcohol. Tackle one demon at a time. You will already likely be experiencing sugar withdrawals from kicking the booze.

        Keep going you are doing great! If you are mostly paleo, doing whole30 won’t be too hard, but I’d wait a while.

        • Thanks, @wvlheel. I think food prep is the hardest thing about any whole food diet…Whole 30 or just paleo. I guess there’s a reason they called processed foods “convenience foods,” huh? LOL. I’ll take your advice about saving the Whole 30 for a bit into the future. Have enough to deal with for now with the alcohol and sugar withdrawals. Thanks, again. 🙂

    • Hi buddy great to see you, was just thinking of you.. Have a great day @wvlheel.

    • I love your grateful list-especially remembering your youngest son! I have residual feelings looking at holidays as a time I “get to” drink a lot. It feels so wonderful to know I don’t have to drink to enjoy them. Have a great day!

    • Great post!! I went to bed early almost every single night this past weekend and I felt completely at peace with that decision. Congrats on 785 days, every day is a blessing. xo

    • So nice to see you! Love your list of gratitudes.

    • Hey there @wvlheel 🙂

    • I used to feel a sense of lightness and relief when holidays came; as in: now I can drink as much as I want for a few days!! Stores would be laid in, basic strategies would be made. Activites would be planned with half a mind on how much drinking time they allowed. Some events I’d swerve cause I’d rather stay home and drink. Remember all that @wvlheel? (I’m assuming it’ll be familiar; forgive me if not.) I think a lot of that was just needing not to feel. Needing a holiday from myself. That wasn’t exciting per se, but it was restful in its own way. I’m getting better at learning to choose restfulness now too. Yay for 3 day work weeks! x

      • Oh yeah @liberty – holidays were always the biggest booze fest. We typically have Christmas and the following week off – I can remember so many times being absolutely disgusted with myself after literally drinking for 10+ days straight over the holiday!

        Ugh. No more.

        I’ve gotten back into meditating the last couple of weeks. I’m enjoying the practice again.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Welcome – thank you for reaching out. This is a great place to hang around until you feel comfortable posting. Or you can just “hang around” – there is nothing wrong with that either. Do what feels right for you. Just knowing there are other people sharing your experience is a wonderful support. Congratulations on day 4!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Good to hear from you @ITG. Thanks for the reminder – and good luck with the house build.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Great post – and now I have a hike to investigate! The smokies aren’t all that far from us here in Eastern NC and I should visit more often. We gravitate to the coast because it is so close but I do love the mountains.

    • Thanks so much Wvlheel! Always such a joy to hear (read) from you.
      And yes….you gave to do the Smokies…..magical stuff….go hike early before the crowds and take in all that sweet mountain air…very special place…..

      oxoxxoxo

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 2 months ago

    Good morning everyone – happy Monday! I hope you are all doing well.

    Clear headed Monday mornings are a really unexpected benefit from avoiding alcohol. I never realized how “foggy” I was each and every Monday from my usual 3 day bender. Waking up crisp is a joy which makes Mondays a lot more bearable.

    My wife and I are doing the Whole30 diet this month – can someone please remind me why I agreed to this nonsense? I’m kidding, I actually enjoy the structure of the plan. However, food shopping and meal prep in the early days of the diet is a full time job. I feel like I spent the entire weekend grocery shopping / chopping ingredients and cooking. We’ve done this before and my wife saw some benefit in her joint pain (I’m doing this to help her) – but we didn’t follow through with the plan very well after the first 30 days.

    My daughter got a job in a local ice cream shop and my eldest son did have a job interview last Friday. My mental state will improve tremendously if he gets working. I did get back into the practice of meditation this weekend and noticed a nearly immediate improvement. I highly recommend the practice if you’ve never tried.

    Sorry, I feel like I am simply posting on the tedium of my life. My counter reads 777 days sober and $6660 dollars saved! I’ve not been completely sober for all of those 777 days but I have been for well over 99.9% of them and I’m so happy for that change in my life.

    1. I am grateful for the sunshine we are receiving right now after a deluge of a weekend.

    2. I am grateful for my youngest son particularly his skill at mowing the lawn 😉

    3. I am grateful next Monday is a holiday – the pre-holiday work weeks are typically more relaxing and laid back.

    Love you all – go lightly.

    • 777 days and lots of good things and energy moving right there.
      Thanks for the update! I always appreciate hearing how life is going over there for you and your family.

      Never regretted not having been wasted on the weekend when the alarm goes off on a Monday.

      Happy pre-holiday week!

      oxoxox

    • I’m with you @wvlheel clear Mondays are the best! Love your updates too! 777 nice!!

    • Great. 777! Wholly, good luck on the food plan. I’m aiming at a more Mediterranean as it helps my joint pain and keeps my weight where I want it. You are a good husband to do this with your wife.

    • Yo! Good to get an updAte buddy!

    • Love your post. I’m grateful for my youngest sons lawn mowing skills too haha. Congrats on 777 days, that’s such an awesome achievement.
      And I’m sure your body will thank you for the healthy eating xo

    • 777 looks good on you sir.
      If this is ‘tedium’, I like reading about it. (I don’t think it’s tedium at all) 🙂

    • WOW, what a number!!!!! It’s always nice to hear from you no matter what you have to say. We follow each other so closely that it really is nice to hear the updates from our personal lives. My husband and I did Whole30 about 6 months ago…… holy cow that is intense work. He was working later at the time so I was in charge of making all the food and doing all the clean up while doing all the normal things we much do with two kids (8 and 3) during the evening, It was greatly helpful to have my husband doing it with me for the support. That was just before I started on here and was dying for a drink by the end. Now I do Keto and I find it much less work 🙂

    • @wvlheel 777 days is epic! Well done.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Good morning friend.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Great trip!

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hi friend. Sorry to hear you are feeling wobbly but good of you to get on here and talk about it. I’m just offering some support – hope it gets better soon. I think “wobbly” is part of this transformation. Sometimes “wobbly” just passes by and sometimes it seems to hang around and bang you over the head for a bit longer.

    I can promise you that you’ll feel worse about it – and more wobbly – if you give into the temptation (I don’t think you will and you know that already).

    Hope things get better soon.

    • Thank you @wvlheel youre right it does sometimes hang around. You know, i have been feeling so solid for a while now, i thought i had ‘cracked it’. Maybe this is a little nudge from the universe to remind me to nuture and treasure my sobriety. Self care and sober tools… need to prioritise. 🙂

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Babble away my friend @mari135 – it helps. We get so close to our individual situations we cannot see them with perspective – thank you for caring.

    Thank all of you for caring and for your lovely responses. Gosh, I’m getting all weepy…..must be the dust in this damn office.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    I’m good guys – checked in yesterday in fact (see post somewhere down below) – thanks for asking though. Hope all is well with both of you, too.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hey – that’s a nice looking number my friend! Well done @liberty.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hell yes it makes sense. Alcohol is addictive. I’ll bet if you look at most drinkers, even the ones we call “normies” – their drinking tends to escalate over time. My wife for example now drinks 1 (or two) glasses of wine most every night. She started by only drinking maybe 2 nights a week.

    She can stop on a dime, so she seems to have the “off” switch, but she still drinks more than she used to – and I suspect it will continue to escalate a bit more if she doesn’t consciously cut back.

    The habit is insidious, just effects some of us more quickly than others. It is fucking addictive and that is what it does.

    • Yup, @wvlheel, that is exactly how it happened to me, escalated over time! Hopefully your wife’s off switch stay intact. Mine definitely broke a while ago. =) So not its always fixed in OFF position.

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hey everyone, happy Wednesday to all of us! I hope you all are doing well. Things are tricky here in North Carolina. My work is difficult right now – we’ve got a pending situation that very few are aware is coming (and must be kept quiet). As a result I’m sitting on a bunch of open positions and working everyone else to death – it sucks.

    My son can’t (won’t) find a job and keeps overspending. We are getting ready to come to a very difficult place with him I am afraid. In the back of my mind I can’t help worrying that he’s relapsed but he seems clear eyed when we see him and many of the other warning signs aren’t there. He is a constant challenge and my biggest failure as a parent. It is tough. I can’t help but wish to go back and face all of his challenges sober. That’s a grief I’ll always bear, I guess.

    In better news my daughter’s health continues to hold steady. She completed a successful semester at the community college and will hopefully resume her academics at a four year University in the fall. She wants to be a teacher (groans) – I love teachers but damn, North Carolina pays them shit so she’ll have to move away for a decent career.

    At least I am sober. I’ll forever be grateful that I’ve changed myself in that regard.

    1. I am grateful for the glorious sunshine today. Today is a perfect spring day. I took a walk at lunch and it lifted my spirits.

    2. I am grateful for @tom4500 who gave me a shout earlier this week and reminded me that I need to be present in this community.

    3. I am grateful the machines here at work are running smoothly this week – we are due a little luck around here.

    Love you all, go lightly.

    • Hello @Wvlheel how nice to hear from you, it’s been ages. The site is so big now I can’t keep up with it all the time so I have probably just missed your posts. It’s really hard with our kids. The best thing is to remove expectations, and to allow ourselves to let go of control. They will both come right in the end, all by themselves. It’s great that your daughter is doing so well, that must have been a heart aching nightmare. So hard when everything doesn’t go the way we want it,and the way we feel we deserve it to go coz we are good parents. Letting go. It’s the key I think, but so hard to do. You are a good man @Wvlheel and your kids and your wife are lucky to have you. If your son won’t get a job just cut off his allowance and charge him some board as well. That might make him realise he is an adult now in an adult world…. and adults wake the fuck up and take responsibilty for themselves hahaha xoxox

    • Love to you too @wvlheel and to you whanau (family) Your boy sounds terrified somewhere beneath it all. My heart gets achy.
      Yet life rolls on with all the other challenges doesn’t it? Glad to hear your girl has found her feet again. xx

      • And I second Liberty too…about him being terrified underneath it all. You both have my compassion, your son and you.

        oxoxxo

    • Hey @wvlheel, so lovely to see you. I know it’s cold comfort but we continue to struggle with our oldest (although at 26 it pretty hands off and be there to support as best we can) and Mr17 is not proving easy. Now he is working full time and full of bravado and spending lots on weed, I’m not sure about his drinking! Anyway, it’s an on going thing.
      Go easy on yourself, you never know how things would have turned out even if you had been sober. It’s such a different and difficult world our children grow up in, vastly different even from our childhood. I do go ‘there’ a little but really it isn’t helpful. What’s been done is done and I am so grateful to be sober as I navigate helping my grown kids.
      I hope the work situation resolves soon that too must be very stressful.
      Remember to look after yourself …..And go fishing 🙂 xox

    • Good to see you @Wvlheel, so sorry about your son, it’s always heartbreaking when our grown kids are struggling. Be proud of yourself and know that many parents who don’t drink at all experience all the same issues as kids grown away and try to gain independence from their folks.
      Take care buddy.

    • Yay, lovely to hear from you @Wvlheel – just yesterday I was wondering how you are 🙂 Sorry to read about your boy, I can’t really comment as I’ve only got one teen and two pre-teens so haven’t reached that stage of parenthood yet. I empathise though, I also regret many years of being a drinking parent and I just hope that now that I am sober, I’m doing an okay job! Hugs to you, and enjoy that Spring sunshine! Here the days are so much shorter now and we’re heading into winter…xo

    • Hey there buddy! Hope all is well.xx

    • I’m very glad to hear about your daughter, @wvlheel. I’m sorry about the challenges at work – I know the sort of thing that can lead to that situation and it’s stressful on everyone. I’ve a young relative who was in your son’s situation – some Prudence-like ground rules forced them into a simple job, then a couple of more interesting temporary jobs – and now, a proper career – all in the space of three years. I think that anxiety issues underlay most of the problems, so a series of small, manageable goals got things done.

    • So good to hear from you! And you have my compassion for the challenging parts life is “life-ing” right now. But so very happy to hear your daughter is doing well. I LOVE seeing kids come sign up for my community college’s classes…and to see them settle down and get grounded….a lot after dropping out of a 4- year university….and then once they had a chance to get grounded they move on. Happens more often than high schools tell parents…..we get (amazing!) students like that all the time.

      And it doesn’t mean it’s too late or bad things will happen.
      I am hoping the same for your son. He may be able to look into companies (Charlotte, Raleigh, research triangle etc.) that hire people without completed degrees. Two of my close friends in town dropped out of a 4- year program, started in a call center (with a decent salary and benefits….) at the headquarters of a local company, and the company paid them to finish their bachelor degrees. Both are still working at the same company and love it.

      One of them was headed down a seriously bad path when he started there….he was a heavy drinker and got a hefty DUI…pretty serious stuff…..jail and all….and he is now married, has his degree, has a reputable good job……

      oxoxox

      Anyways…you got this and don’t need me to babble on.

      🙂

      • Babble away my friend @mari135 – it helps. We get so close to our individual situations we cannot see them with perspective – thank you for caring.

        Thank all of you for caring and for your lovely responses. Gosh, I’m getting all weepy…..must be the dust in this damn office.

    • Hey there @Wvlheel, just wanted to say gidday and glad to see you here (and I’m glad to be back here too).

    • @Wvlheel sorry to hear about the issues and sorry I haven’t around much. I really need to do a better job of checking in here more often. In any case, I hope all works out for the best!

    • I keep thinking back to your comment about parenting failure, and I think you’re being too hard on yourself , and I offer my brother’s experience as an example. He and his wife raised four boys, and three did very well. The other went through a period of substance abuse and recklessness that for a while, resulted in felonies and jail. Curiously enough, the trouble-maker was also the most outgoing, clever, loving, and willing to help of the four. He’s now in his late thirties and has a small family, one 10 year old child, the three are doing well. I don’t think my brother was a parenting failure; for some reason one out of the four was a wild one. For a while. Actually, my brother never gave up on him, logged a ton of miles visiting him in jail, etc., etc. Even after my sister in law had about given up. And I credit my brother for pulling him through. Many chapters left to be written for all of us. (I hope! Checked the obits yesterday and I wasn’t in them!)

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    I’m good @tom4500 – just in a bit of a rut here at work and working with my eldest on getting his life moving forward. I realize when having these challenges is when I should be posting, but doing it is another thing entirely!

    I’m clear headed and bright eyed this morning and I am always grateful for that! I hope all of you are well, I will try to do better about visiting more often.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Awesome! That’s a nice milestone to hit.

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 3 months ago

    Good morning everyone – horrible rainy day here but I’m clear headed and that’s always a joy.

    Not much to report, work marches along as do the vagaries of life. I’m feeling a little reflective these days – also itching for something “different”. It is time for a change of scenery I’m afraid. My wife and I are talking about relocating in 3 years when the youngest graduates. I’m afraid those discussions have sparked a bit of wanderlust. Oh well, sorry for the ramble.

    1. I am grateful that being sober is no longer a “challenge” that requires constant vigilance. I check in with my sober self occasionally but that is enough.

    2. I am grateful that it rarely rains as hard and as long as it will today.

    3. I am grateful that my car repair – a busted radiator – is covered under warranty – hoooray!

    Mind the gap.

    • Wanderlust is wonderful and frustrating all at the same time. I hope you have fun discussing the possibilities with your wife!

    • Hey Wvlheel – I believe I have heard about you reading SoberGuy365’s blog (which is what inspired me to join this community and embark on my own journey). Great to hear that things are going well. Your kids are blessed to have you.

    • I like that it’s not a constant effort anymore too. Quitting booze has helped me stop being a passenger in my own life. Nice to hear from you. Good luck for the moving. It will work itself out.

    • That’s what can get me…. the wanting something different so I can totally understand. At least you’ve got a ton of tools and know when to use them 🙂

    • Nice to see you @wvlheel. It another interesting time of life isn’t it? The kids growing up. Our youngest left school earlier this year and our daughter is looking to move out soon. After the events with the shop we are in rebuilding mode but there’s still lots of time when it’s just the two of us. My DH did say once the kids were gone there’s not a lot stopping us relocating. It’s all food for thought. Go well, my friend xx

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Glad to know I’m missed @morgan. It’s actually a little amazing what this community can do- to think that a bunch of folks in New Zealand were talking about me, is just staggering. The power of community is a wonderful thing- something told me I needed to post yesterday, I expect the vibes from your conversation reached me somehow

  • Wvlheel posted an update 1 year, 4 months ago

    Hi everyone – end of the week – YAY!

    I’ve been a bit delinquent in my visits lately – sorry but life is a bit tricky right now with the kids and the job. I do love my new life even when it is hard. My weekend starts tonight and I’m so looking forward to a solid night’s sleep and a clear headed morning tomorrow.

    1. I am grateful my taxes are done – this is the first year I haven’t filed for an extension in quite a while.

    2. I am grateful for my daughter’s improved health – she drove herself seven hours one way this past weekend to visit a friend. This was a HUGE step for her (and us) and I was so glad when she got home safely.

    3. I am grateful for the end of this fucking work week 😉

    Love you all, go lightly.

    • Lovely list, happy weekend to you x

    • Hi @Wvlheel, it’s so good to hear your daughter is doing so well, great news indeed. I have finally completed all my preparation for end of financial year too, and going to the city to drop it off tomorrow. Always such a huge relief when that is done, it is a big job. This is quite late for me, I like to be the earlybird and get in before everyone else so I get to know my tax position by about the end of May. Even if it is depressing I can at least try to prepare for it that way. haha sell another caravan!! Always feel so free after I’ve dropped it off…..my part of it is over and the result will be the result. I hope you get some good R&R and fishing in this weekend. xox

    • Hi there! Good news from you. We talked about you at the Christchurch LS gathering last night. We’re your ears burning? It was all good, just missing you and wondering how things were. Now we know 🙂

      • Glad to know I’m missed @morgan. It’s actually a little amazing what this community can do- to think that a bunch of folks in New Zealand were talking about me, is just staggering. The power of community is a wonderful thing- something told me I needed to post yesterday, I expect the vibes from your conversation reached me somehow

    • @wvlheel good to see you and so glad to hear your daughter is doing well! Enjoy your long weekend you lucky dog!

    • Hey @Wvheel..that’s good to hear! And I laughed when you listed #3…I second that!!

    • Hurrah have a nice weekend @wvlheel 🙂

    • Nice to hear that you and your daughter are both doing well, @Wvlheel! Enjoy your weekend!

    • Beautiful post, as always….
      And so glad your daughter did that long trip ok and safe and sound!
      Longer roadtrips to new places trigger my anxiety, so your family and her must have been worried about the seizures/stress this may cause her.

      oxoxox

      Grateful to hear all is well in your world, in spite of the challenges life throws at us….
      and thank FUCK it’s the weekend. You deserve it.

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Congratulations @mari135. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you over the past year – well Done!

    You get an official wvlheel happy Dance!

    • Oh God, Wvlheel, I can only reciprocate that! It’s been such an honor to walk alongside you. And thank you for forgiving my countless unsolicited advice rants….for showing me that a good-enough father does not turn away when his kids are hurting and needing him. Your parent-ing blows my mind, and I mean that. Hard stuff. But you have got this.

      I keep your daughter in my thoughts, and always hope she is well. That all your kids are well and adjust to this sometimes very scary “adult life thing”.

      You deserve many many years of fishing and beach time with your beautiful wife and family, and I have a feeling good things are coming your way. The best it yet to come.

      Thanks for being here. It’s safe to say we all appreciate your posts and wisdom and raw authentic sharing.

      oxoxoxox

  • Wvlheel posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Hey @lizzy – well done!

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