LifeRing Recovery

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LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.

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Going Forward (with clarity)   Sobriety/Recovery Journals

Started 2/16/14 by Elsie (Elsiek); 55274 views.
Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)


Hi everyone, 

I can't quite believe that so long has passed since I checked in here- almost three months.  Anyway, today I have been sober for seven years, which is another thing I can't quite believe. 

Life is busy at the moment, no weddings due to the pandemic but our house build plans are cranking up.  Yesterday and today I have been monitoring the permeability of our plot. It's annoying, messy and feels pretty inaccurate, and at 2 today rain stopped play. Thank god! I've had enough wobbling around in my wellies on a flimsy horizontal metal fence panel trying to measure the water depths. When we engaged a drainage engineer it was supposed to make planning easier, but right now it just feels like its created more work!  Never mind, there's no way round, only through.  I might not feel like I'm cut out for it but I can only imagine how much less I would cope if I were drinking. And I'm considering where my drinking and my health might be if I'd been continuing to drink for all these seven years. It's a terrifying thought. I still feel like I'm growing older- because, you know, I am, for all that people chime in with that ' age is a state of mind' bollocks!!! But actually it's okay, and maybe I used to drink partly to pretend to myself I was still young? You know, a party in a bottle, a party all on my own, creating an illusion that i'm still  a bit wild or something.  I actually do notice I'm slowing down and I'm quite happy now with a much quieter life, not that it's going to be very quiet again till the house is built. When husband says- after we've done it once it would be much easier to do it all again- I just give him a withering look as if to say, over my dead body. 

It's hard to write after a long absence, it seems to take a few visits on the trot to get back into the flow, but it's nice to say hi, and I hope 2021 is feeling a bit more positive than 2020. Maybe unlikely if you've been watching the news, but at least Trump has gone which has surely made the world a saner place.

Take care all and I hope to check in a bit sooner next time!

Elsie xxx

Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)



Glad to hear you are doing well and are just facing the normal problems of life without alcohol - it certainly makes things easier.

I have sympathy for your husbands idea.  About 15 years ago we bought our place in West Virginia.  We renovated the barn to be my workshop, and then, a year or so later, rebuilt the house - it had only 6 1/2 foot ceilings and no real foundation.  We did all the design work ourselves - no architect - and had local people build it out.  Overall we are quite satisfied, but there are all kinds of things I would do differently know.  Learning by doing, the next one would be better - seems a waste to not use what we learned.

My wife and I just got our first vaccine shots, so things are looking better for 2021.



From: MaryLouise3


Hi E

Good to read you again -- I hope the house build goes well. Out here we're having a tough time with Covid and the vaccine roll-out has just been suspended because it doesn't work with the new variant.

But at least this year I feel more prepared for dealing with pandemic alarms and privations, last year nobody knew what was ahead for us in March.

Well done on almost seven years -- how time dashes past even when it takes so long to get into sober routines and habits.

And it is a glorious lazy summer -- even if I can't get to the beach and ocean, I have a garden, trees, birds, glimpses of mountains. Peaceful enough for now ---


Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)


Eek! The vaccine doesn't work on the new variant in South Africa? Now that is something that has not been clearly reported in the media here.  The possibility that it might not be quite as effective has been suggested but not emphatically. 

I guess that will be the story with new variants. After all they have to reformulate the flu vaccine every year or two, and the last time I had the flu vaccine I had the worst bout of flu ever later that winter. So bad I thought I'd probably never actually had flu before. I guess it was a new variant not covered by the vaccination.

It's snowy here today, so I'm not being treated to a visit from the drainage engineer (!) a walk to the vets to pick up medication for a couple of the animals will probably be the extent of my travels today.  It doesn't get much more exciting right now. 

In other news I have started to play the piano again. I think my current mindset is to play as well as I can at my current level of ability. In the past I have sometimes tackled things that are far too hard for me and it really puts me off.  Actually this is a much better way to improve, by the tiniest increments perhaps, but I'm making a nice sound whilst I do it, so it is pleasurable rather than frustrating.  

Really feeling for my kids at the moment. They are both in their final year of higher education and it's hard without face-to-face input. For my son the input ought to be less significant as his degree is in Computer Science and a lot of his work this year would be self-generated anyway, but he finds the total lack of routine very demotivating. To look on the positive side of that, he is learning a lot about himself and how to deal with this issue. For my daughter on the musical theatre diploma, all the classes are online and she is currently at home.  The college has done a fairly good job of providing online tuition and she is busy and reasonably motivated, but there simply is no substitute for dance, drama and singing in a real physical environment in collaboration with others. The quality of training is just not what it should be. Ultimately the pandemic will have adversely impacted about half of her three year diploma.  For my son, it is 'just' his final year as he took a year out and worked in industry as I have described here before. As he was doing development work for a hospital he worked through the first wave of the pandemic (on IT support as the development was halted) doing stuff like helping technophobes get to grips with Teams meetings!  I think it was a good experience overall and I think he learnt that for him employment is preferable to self-directed education. 

I can't remember who said that we are only ever as happy as our least happy child. They are doing okay considering, and that is pretty much where I find myself! 

Glad you are enjoying a beautiful summer.  Nature has become so much more important for all of us during these times, but I know it is always a source of sustenance for you. 


Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)


Hi Brian

Thanks for the message. I greatly admire people who can take on so much of the design work and practical elements of renovation/ rebuilding themselves.  I don't know how building control fits in in the US, but here it is very strict and unless we had professional design skills ourselves there is just no way we could have done much more. We had to get our architect to tinker around with the stairs and room dimensions around the stairs because the timber frame company discovered a problem with the head clearance height. It was resolved by shaving a little off a family bathroom and an en suite, and putting a winder into the stairs. I would never have had the technical expertise to identify the problem, let alone rectify it!

It has been a very slow process but I'm hoping that all our ducks are very nearly in a row now!  It is exciting but on the other hand I know as long as I'm warm, dry, well fed and have access to lots of books and my piano, I can be pretty content anyway. so I do sometimes wonder why we are bothering. In all honesty though our garden is far too big and crying out either for development or a very very competent gardener, and neither of us are the latter however much we may have tried. We hope our new house will be sympathetic to the village and the conservation area that our current residence is part of ( we are grade 2 listed) whilst if a commercial developer got hold of the land they might not be so thoughtful.  

Very pleased to hear you have received your first vaccine shots! My husband has had his, as a doctor, and the promise here seems to be that they aim to reach all over 50s by the end of May.  It could be a while until my kids get it though, so a family holiday abroad this summer is probably off the menu.  I don't mind but they will be disappointed to have to go to Wales again! I loved our holiday last summer, just lots of dog walks on a  beach and board games in the evenings. But at 19 and 21 they should be grateful for any holiday we pay for, and we should be grateful if they like us enough to still come on holiday grin

Take care Brian

E xx

Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)



The building codes in West Virginia are pretty lax - and we are 10 miles from the nearest "unincorporated" town.  We could never have done this in DC, especially since we live in the historic district.

Yes, it would be wonderful if your kids still want to take vacations with you.  Once I went off to college I wanted to stay are far away as possible.  And my parents sold the house so I couldn't come home!

A vacation in Wales sounds great.  We got close enough once to see Wales across the Bristol Channel.


Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)


It's all go here.  Our garage and large summer house will be 'decommissioned' at the weekend, which I think means the electricity will be disconnected.  Tomorrow the summer house will be cleared of furniture.  Much wailing from my husband as these days you have to pay them to take it all away, but realistically it is nearly all a pile of crap.  The guy warned me that nearly everything will go to the tip, so I shall take out dvds and clothes and store them until the charity shops reopen. Usually the house clearance company would recycle items by giving to charity, but the pandemic has stymied such good practice for the time being. I am regretting being a bit of a repository for other people's unwanted items over the years. Ultimately you have to pay someone to take it away! 

Next Monday the garage demolition will start to create access for the build. I'm surprisingly fine about it now it's happening.  My only anxiety is the pets, they might get disturbed as animals are apt to do.  Then again, I saw a news article some time ago about cats in Syria, how many have attached themselves to households in severely war-torn environments and have become valued companions. As long as we can secure the boundaries - and as the onsite voice of authority (!) I can make a song and dance about them until they are up to what I need for peace of mind. 

I am discovering two things about myself. Firstly, once I absolutely have no choice I can get with the program.  Secondly, when stuff absolutely has to be done on time I am perfectly capable of being assertive.  The trouble in normal times is that if things aren't urgent i am too laid back with tradespeople and jobs can really drag on. Maybe this new proactive me will carry on beyond the build. Or maybe the real stress is yet to happen and I'm going to hide under my duvet with my teddy. It could go either way. 

There's a fair amount of talk and articles in the media about the pandemic causing greater alcohol consumption. it's definitely causing a bit more chocolate consumption chez moi. But as I wrote elsewhere I really don't want to give myself a hard time over weight gain.  I suspect it makes it worse, not better. In other news I have cut my SSRIs from 15 to 10mg, for the simple reason that they just don't split very easily in a pill cutter, and with bits crumbling off I don't think I was often getting 15mg anyway.  I invested in a bottle of CBD oil with the intention of having a small dose if I got any withdrawal symptoms.  I haven't really had withdrawal symptoms but I have used a small dose when I have felt very anxious (that could be cutting down the citalopram, or it could be the imminent build) It doesn't do much to be honest, but it does ease the neck pain which has been plaguing me of late. For the latter I have reinstituted a few morning yoga stretches as well. Self care. This morning I've been dithering about dyeing my hair. It might make me feel fresher but there's part of me that quite likes the idea of embracing the grey. I'll see how I go. The dye pack is in the bathroom cabinet if it just turns out to be a nice idea and the drabness gets too much to bear! 

Time to walk the dog now.  The farmer who is having the summer house is coming to measure up in a couple of hours so i need to get out. 

I am occupying a different zone at the moment.  The doing zone. I feel different. I bet I sound different.

E xx

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)


Oh dear, that mood didn't last too long, although a long miserable post I wrote yesterday about being depressed didn't get posted, and today I'm honestly relieved, because I feel better. What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours...

Yes, it's quiet here. It might help me to make some noise. Breakfast calls. More later. 

E x