Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Adapting



It's raining here today so I started messing around with the look of my blog. I'm never very happy with it, so every so often I change it. Then I think about moving over to Wordpress. Then I think I should maybe make my own page. But I don't know how to do that, and I have lots of posts I want to write but then I don't and so I'm going to start there.

I heard something the other day on NPR about survival of the fittest and how that it really isn't based so much on being the fastest or the strongest or the best, but on the ability to adapt. It went straight into my brain with a zoom and I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

I have a friend who gives up drinking every several weeks or so. I don't really know why, but my guess is that things go sideways and in that way we drinkers do he has that moment of clarity: Hey... things are fucked up because I drink too much. And so he quits for some days, but always goes back.

He was complaining about being bored. There's nothing to do, he says, if I'm not drinking. I say be patient, you will think of some things. Not drinking takes practice.

It takes practice, and adaptation. I feel like I am just now getting to the part where I am actually changing my life: where I am totally comfortable being sober and my foundation is really strong and I'm much less afraid to try new things. I think about the ways I adapted when I first quit drinking: giant glasses of seltzer and grapefruit, going to bed right after dinner, up at dawn to write and do yoga because that made me feel needed and like I just had to be sober. I think about the ways I am adapting now: I'm finally, finally comfortable taking care of myself.

I am slowly but surely adapting my life to fit my idea of my life. I am only working the job I don't like for six hours a week. I have been keeping promises to myself- this has been HUGE and all started almost three months ago with my tiny promise to floss my teeth every day. Then I got bigger and promised to write three pages a day. Then I promised myself I was going to eat right and start running again. Then I added meditating every day. Writing them out like that makes them seem so....small, sort of; maybe more like simple. But it's working. I still don't quite believe that all it took was to keep one small promise, but it was all it took.

I run in the woods. I have three birch trees that rely on me to be there, and when I get to the last one I stop and make a circle with my water around her base. She has a strong trunk that branches out into four smaller trunks that reach into the sky and make all the branches that make up the whole tree. A trunk for everyone in my family-me, my husband, our children- united by the strong base. After I make my circle I press my head to her side, place my palms on the bark, and close my eyes. I say a prayer of gratitude. I cry every  time. I don't care if anyone sees me. I let go of the world for a minute and reach deep inside to really feel my gratitude.

With these smaller promises have come moments like this: moments when I am brave enough to pray at the base of a beautiful birch tree, moments where I am brave enough to run, when I have the courage to let myself be guided by my heart and not by the what ifs of money. Because I am seeing that I can change I am changing. I am not the strongest, or the best, or the fastest. I am the one who is adapting.

22 comments:

  1. I love your tree. I'm going to go find one of my own so I can have my own tree to water with my tears of gratitude. Thank you for this post. I am grateful for you.

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    1. Having a tree sister is so good. I am grateful for you, too. Xxxooo

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  2. I can't tell you how much I needed to read this today. It made me well up, filling me with hope from the beauty of your words. Thank you. Bea x

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    1. Bea I'm so glad. Thank you for taking time to say so :)

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  3. What a wonderful post Amy. Thank you. I like the idea of starting with one small promise to yourself and working up from there. i might try it. A x

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    1. Make sure it's something small. As soon as you think "oh, that's too small" then you've found the right thing.

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  4. Wow. Just wow. I need this for my wallet or tattooed on my palm. Beautiful, perfect...thank you for writing and sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much! It's great to see you here :) xxxooo

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  5. Dig it, well done.
    Whistler

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  6. Thank you for this post. I really need to hear something like this today. :)

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    1. I'm glad it came along at the right time. :)

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    1. Thank you. So. Are. You. Xxxooo

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  8. I love this.....it takes the first step to begin a journey. Yours was flossing your teeth. ;o) My first step would be to not eat sugar today. I love how you explained what you had to do to not drink in your early days. Go to bed right after dinner, get up early, do yoga, run, connect with your tree....because we all have those kinds of things we need to do to but we get overwhelmed looking at the whole and we stay stuck. You just let us all know we aren't alone. Thank you for that. I needed to hear that.

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    1. I think you could start smaller than sugar. Like putting your shoes away, or hanging up a towel, or remembering to stop and be grateful once a day. You are never alone- I am always here by the Atlantic Ocean side loving you and being grateful for your courage and Annette-ness. :) xxxooo

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  9. Amy, I just found your blog last night. I feel like I am right on the verge of being where you were on December 7, 2012. Myself has been screaming out for months, even a few years, that I am at the tipping point of really letting drinking get the best of me. I too am a mom of two beautiful kids, and I somehow let a glass of wine turn into 3 or the entire bottle in an effort to calm nerves, forget stress, deal with life, and so on. I don't know if I am there yet - giving it up completely. For me, I have Social Drinker Me, having a drink or two at dinner with friends, and usually staying in full control. However, every 6 months or so, the Party Me comes out and I have too much. Then there is the Mom Loves Wine Me. Having a glass of wine while cooking dinner, then one more because it is stressful at bedtime, and then before I know it I am 3 glasses in. Every time I wake up the next day and swear that I will never drink again unless I am going out to dinner, or any myriad of other excuses. Bless you for being here. And it is by grace that I found you. I am truly grateful. As I take the next steps, I am sure I will be back time and again to read and listen to your wise advice. Thank you. :)

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    1. Hi- thanks for commenting :) I am happy to be a pen pal if you'd like one- dearsoberbia@gmail.com

      It's always good to listen to the grace and not the excuses. The sober blogging community is a solid place to get your start. I'm wishing you strength and courage. Xo

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  10. Lovely Amy. Just lovely.
    And it's true - we need to adapt. I hear about the boredom thing all the time, and what is happening is we're opening up that space, and trying to figure out what to "do". Sometimes it's about just "being" and not doing. But I get where your friend is at. It took me two years to figure out stuff. Running, writing, etc. My blog got started on that very premise. I needed to share and to do something! But as you say, we learn to adapt, and that is how we get stronger. The body adapts to the stresses of yoga, running, exercising. It slowly repairs and rebuilds while we rest. And so while we adapt, we also need that down time. To reflect, to take pause, to grow within as well.

    Thank you for this - loved it.

    Blessing and Cheerrrrrrss
    Paul

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  11. Paul! So lovely to see you. :) Sobriety is not a stagnant endeavor is it? Cheers my friend!!!

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