No Wine-ing about It

Once in awhile it’ll hit me, how different my life has been these past few years.

Like when I think about my recycle cupboard. The high spot above my fridge- where I’d keep my bottle of poison, along with the many empties I’d produce each week.

This sounds kind of lame, but I sort of felt like a super hero when my large recycle bin no longer contained a surplus of empty kahlua, vodka or wine containers. I also don’t miss my indoor liquor/recycle cabinet.

I don’t have to rotate liquor store stops, or make sure I grocery shop after noon on a Sunday (so I could buy liquor), and the perfect Saturday night is spent happily at home- not out wherever at whoever’s house (basically, wherever I could drink the most 😃).

And, an exchange of messages made me realize how much I don’t miss losing things. Expensive, important things 😬🙄

But this morning it was loading the dishwasher..

All the wine glasses, so awkward. Top rack? Too tall. Bottom rack? Too flimsy. Where do I put these dang things? How can I forget so easily after loading wine glasses daily for like TWENTY years?

The wine glasses fit awkwardly

It was one of those moments when I realized how little I missed such a huge and scary daily obsession. Which is bananas, considering the amount of time I dragged my feet to quit.

It was like hiding behind a large door. The door is strong and solid, and protects me from harm, while comforting my brain and belly, and ensuring the safety it provides.

I got tired of feeling stuck, but didn’t know how to get through that door. Slowly, by listening to podcasts and reading quit lit (books to help quit drinking), I gathered enough tools to slowly take down that door.

Busting through it took a lot of strength, courage, effort and faith.

Sometimes I got scared, and ran back to my safe room, slamming the big heavy door behind me.

But a part of me knew I didn’t belong in there. After many tries, I finally broke the whole thing down. What I saw next was shocking.

Rows and rows of open doors surrounded me. Each one was warm and welcoming. Better yet, I could go through each one without becoming a prisoner.

Those doors are the gifts of sobriety, and they tend to multiply 🤗🕺🏼🎉

So, if you’re on the fence, give yourself a chance or two, you’re worth it 🤍

* 3 Years * 9 Months * 5 Days *

So Many Changes!

Life has been crazy since the beginning of last week. Not only did I start the new job, but I’ve been dealing with a new called edema.

It’s in my legs and it’s awful. They’re so big and swollen that I can’t wear most of my pants and have to mostly wear athletic shoes- the one pair I have that’s room and cushy enough not to hurt.

I’m so tired of being in pain! Not to complain, but it’s really been getting me down. On top of the stupid pain, I’m trying to not look like I’m 100 years old at my new job. I’m tired of feeling old, slow and big, tired of my feet hurting whenever I walk and being afraid every morning of how well, or unwell I can move.

Luckily, I’ve been able to keep it hidden (I think) at work. I’m sure people notice me walking funny, or getting up or down slow- but also doubt that anyone thinks much about it.

I also miss my old school, and students, alot. It’s been making me feel down this week! The kids at my new school have severe disabilities and I’m struggling with finding the appropriate activities and also connecting with them- something that’s always come super easy to me (connecting with kids).

The good news is that my caseload is relatively super low (like under 10, unheard of for a resource room teacher), and the special education team at the new school is amazing, and has been so helpful to me.

I think much of the sadness is because of this tough medical stuff I’m going through- but also mourning the changes in my job.

Spiritually, I believe I’m supposed to be here learning and maybe teaching someone something.. I knew this might be difficult and anticipated changes, and think that once I get into a routine and know my kids better, I’ll feel a lot better.

I do like the short commute! Although, the longest road I drive on is one mile. By the end of the first week, I was actually thinking on the way home that this is the longest one mile road I’ve ever driven! It took less than a week to become that spoiled, lol.

I left for work this morning feeling better than I have since last week. I’m wearing a new pair of pants I bought at a hippy store in Tennessee and came to work in sandals. For the first time in a few weeks, I felt almost cute! I did LOTS of walking during the morning, so I had to switch to my athletic shoes by lunch, but might put my sandals back on in a bit. My weight is two pounds down from being over ten pounds up, so I’m hoping the edema is improving.

That’s about it for an update. No cleansing or smoothies for a couple weeks- and my diet hasn’t been that clean. I’m working on it- and I’ll get there- eventually. I at least need to eliminate dairy/gluten/eggs- which I’m mostly doing- so I just need to bite the bullet and be strict.

Home

Its late Sunday morning & I’m feeling better (mentally and physically) than I have in a few days. My cats are happy that we’re home and my dog was so excited to see me at the doggie daycare. He’s funny. He’s always excited when I pick him up- even if I only drop him for a few hours. But this morning, he gave me a loud vocal complaint, along with his usual excited silliness- it sounded something like, “It’s about time you came for me, MOM!”

Now he’s happily lounging on the couch 😍

We drove home yesterday and my biggest body complaint has been pain in the back of my legs/knees. It makes it super hard to get up or sit down. Once I start walking, they loosen up, but I literally look like a bow legged tin man when trying to go from sitting to moving.

So I’ve been trying to stretch my legs throughout the day, and it’s been helping a little. But I had a good idea on the way home to try to get in a peloton workout before bed.

I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to do it without hurting myself more, but I tried a 10 minute workout and was able to complete it 👊🏻💪🏻 (Candence never went say, above a 40, but I was still ecstatic). And my legs felt a little looser 👏🏼👏🏼

The only hiccup is that I have an foot insert that I need to use sometimes- other times it hurts to use it- my darn feet are SO finicky!! Well I used it and felt my foot hurting midway through my ride. I wasn’t going to stop a 10 minute ride to take it out so I just worked through it. A little while after the ride, I noticed that my ankle had swollen into a giant cankle. I didn’t panic, put my compression sock on and vowed to never make that mistake again.

Today I woke up happy that my legs/knees were less stiff. After getting my dog and having some coffee, I did a 20 minute ride (stats were so much better than yesterday- and I was able to keep up with instructor for most of it 💪🏻) without the insert. It felt good! And walking up and down the stairs was so much easier afterwards.

The importance of movement was never forgotten, but this experience has solidified it in stone. I’ve known for awhile the importance of it for my mental health, but this put it in a new perspective.

Something else has been on my mind; the idea that my body issues have less to do with the food and medicines I’m taking and more to do with my beliefs, inner pain and resistance.

On what would be the last day of the Heavy Metal Detox Cleanse (for right now), I was talking to my sister- and I asked her if she had talked to our dad.

“No, not yet. I plan to call him today- but going to wait a bit. He’s usually cranky in the morning because his hands hurt when he wakes up.”

Jaw drop.

It was so familiar- and icky to hear! It was so discouraging, because while I could relate to the pain, my lifestyle is so much different than his and it just didn’t add up.

For example, he drinks, smokes and has such a poor standard american diet (SAD, I know 😂), that he truly believes that a quaker granola bar is a healthy snack.

He listens to his doctors, and asks no questions about treatment. He’s on prescribed pain medication, and a slew of others- and truly believes they help him- or that he needs them (and maybe he does- who am I to judge?). I could never see him paying out of pocket for alternative health care, or to see someone who is holistic- he believes that he has fine medical care that his (pristine) health insurance pays for.

Movement is about the only thing that we do have in common (he keeps himself busy with constant home projects & walks on the treadmill whenever he is strong enough).

It feels great to be home. It feels weird to anticipate going to work tomorrow- especially knowing that I’m brand new. Wish me luck please, I hope the week isn’t long, I like my new coworkers & that my body cooperates 🙏🏻

Mountain Vacation Day 4

It’s a day later, and yesterday I got everything I needed after I wrote my post. My new director called me to let me know that I was okay to start on Monday and she set me up with a text group of my new team, including my mentor who has been so supportive so far. I also got a call from the new hire lady, who also told me that I’m okay to start on Monday and that I can now set up my email account- but have to do it on the school’s network, so it’ll have to wait until Monday.

My previous job was also posted shortly after writing. I was worried that our numbers were too low and they would try to save money and not hire someone. That would be a ton of extra work for my work-mates, so that’s a relief!

I still have a few things to do to wrap up my old job- like sending their new teachers their information at a glance, and to put together sub plans in case they don’t hire someone before the start of the year. I’ll get it done, and not feeling too stressed about it. Also, I want to email my parents and let them know that I’m leaving, but should get my principal’s approval first, I suppose.

I feel so crazy, excited- totally nervous- all wrapped up in one big tornado funnel of emotions!

The new hire lady forwarded me the schedule for Monday. It starts with the entire district staff meeting at the high school. We do the same thing in Royal Oak on our first day-the entire district gets together and celebrates the start of the year. It’s always such a nerve wracking event, for someone who has a bit of social anxiety. It’s only going to be a zillion times worse this year, going into a new place with all new faces. I can’t even believe that’s gonna be my reality on Monday 😨

I’m going to keep taking deep breaths and keep being thankful that where I have to go is within walking distance from my house- and I don’t have to drive 35+ minutes to get there. I’m also going to keep reminding myself that change is necessary sometimes, and makes room for even bigger and better things.

Our vacation is going pretty good. We climbed a tower yesterday and saw a long ways. We drove through the smokey’s and stopped at numerous viewing areas and streams. At the house, I saw two bear cubs hours apart, but from a distance and they never made it near the house.

We had to walk uphill .5 miles to get to the tower. Overall, my body felt pretty good yesterday and my feet did awesome during the walk. We soaked in the hottub afterwards and again this morning. My whole body is a bit more achy today, so we just stayed home and relaxed all day.

Tomorrow I think we are going to go into town and hit the shops (there are a ton). I can’t believe we already leave in a few days, but that’s okay because I really miss the pets. And I’m a little eager to jump into this new job, lol.

Mountain Trip Anxiety

It’s been a great mountain trip so far! The boys love the house. There are two spacious levels, and their rooms, along with a pool table, hot tub and mini wet bar are all downstairs. They’ve spent much of our time here “chillin” on that lower level. It’s nice to see them having fun and we’re feeling so grateful for this time together.

I’ve been feeling a huge amount of stress since arriving- all to do with starting a new job. We got here on Sunday, and I was afraid of what email’s I’d wake up to on Monday morning, as I had emailed in my resonation over the weekend. I’m feeling so paranoid- about everything. There was a discrepancy when I went to do my new hire paperwork, and I don’t even know what school I’m working at! When she called right after my interview, she offered me a job at Orchard Hills. The post-it note on “new hire” file said I’d be at Parkview. I don’t really care which one, but it’s unsettling to not know.

I’m also paranoid that my old district is going to come after me. I gave such short notice, surely they’ll sue me for all of last years wages..

And I expected my job to be posted right away– but it’s not.. Why haven’t they posted it? What’s going on? I fully expect them to call the news on me for a story about how educators are leaving poor kids for their own benefit.

I haven’t gotten my new work email set up yet, I’m waiting for someone to contact me- but with each passing day, I think that maybe I should read the new hire paperwork and see if I’m supposed to set it up. The lack of emails from the new job is unnerving, and I’m positive I’m missing important info about me having to be there this week- when in actuality, I can’t because I’m across the country. Surely my new director is going to demand I start work- and I’ll have to say no.

Then there’s the biggest fear- yet constantly looming over my head- it’s a mistake- they aren’t really going to hire you. Any day now they’re going to call and say, “Nevermind.”

Soooo.. lots of work anxiety going on here. Also worried about my physical health. I think I’ll be alright- but I don’t think I’m going to be able to hide my problems for long. Even just wearing compression gloves usually invites comments/questions. Oh well.

Other than that, it truly has been a great trip! My hubby recently got a new camera and is really enjoying playing with it here- especially with all the bears around here! Below are actual pictures from here of 3 cubs frolicking and then following their mom onto the neighbor’s pick-up truck. He’s getting some awesome pictures!

We had a pretty easy (8 hour) drive here. We arrived Sunday around 5pm and had lots of time to chill. Yesterday, our first full day, we went into the Smokey Mountain National Park and walked to a waterfall- it was cool. Then we ate Mexican food, then got groceries. We all splurged and spent way too much on groceries, but now will eat out less. We were going to walk around the little shops around here, but it cost $20 to park- so we thought we’d make a day out of it. We were only going to go into a few yesterday so it wasn’t worth it to park.

That’s about it. Nothing planned today except maybe going back to the park for a little bit. I’m glad the entire fam is on the same page and good with doing a whole lotta nothing this week! ☺️

Detox Day 34- Derailed

Friday August 19, 2022

Sometime late last night, I decided to go back on my shot. I’d been thinking heavily about it for the past couple of days, and I sleepily made the unquestionable decision.

I didn’t take any pain meds before bed (yay me!), but hurt all over significantly when I woke up when hubby came to bed. I got up to go to the bathroom and when I got back into bed, hubby nudged my hand and although it was very gentle, it made my wrist go against a lot of pain and resistance. “Ouch!” I nearly screamed.

What followed next hurt my heart. He reached over to hold me so gently, as he has been doing these past months, but shortly after getting his arm around my abdomen (avoiding my shoulders/arms at all costs) it’s as if he remembered my sensitive state, pulled his arm away, turned over and went to sleep.

He can’t even touch me. I kept thinking, and knew that I couldn’t continue to live like this.

The wake-up wasn’t too awful, and I took my shot in the morning.

I walked for about 1.4 miles (foot hurt pretty bad, never improved throughout the walk) and did my cleanse. I ate tuna nuggets with pork rind breading for lunch, and took a wonderful nap.

After my nap, my new school called and I was able to go get my paperwork filled out. This was such a relief as I’d been worrying about loose ends needing to be tied up while we’re in Tennessee.

It felt like since I took my shot and was following my heart more, things were finally falling into place!

Saturday’s wake-up was such a welcomed relief. That shot must’ve done wonders, because I felt so much better. Not perfect, mind you, but not sore everywhere.

It’s now Sunday and we’re on our way to Tennessee. The drive is going good so far, we just drove through Cincinnati and only have about 270 miles to go!

Yesterday I was able to get a lot done to prepare for this trip- I’m so grateful l took the damn shot. I brought one with me too, so that I don’t miss my next dose. I’m not sad about this- just more curious about what it means for my health- this cleanse.

I did not bring my blender or juicer or any of my “special” cleansing foods. I’m taking a break from cleansing- at least for this week. I’ve been still avoiding dairy, gluten and eggs and hopeful that I can maintain eating this way.

I think the cleanse did something and definitely planning on getting back to it, but maybe on an every-other-day basis or something- it was too much emotionally and physically (so much time and effort for my hands- both of which are still weak and sore).

But for now, I’m gonna enjoy feeling better with my family, doing lots of relaxing and rejuvenating in a beautiful place 🏔🗻🌲🌳🌱💐🌸🌈

Detox Day 33

Today’s been a little better. It started out super slow and painful, but you know what? I didn’t eat. Not yet anyway, and it’s after 5pm. I would like to fast, at least for 24 hours, but honestly I just don’t have it in me– not today anyway. I did make a vow last night to eat better- at least less fats. Last night I finished the small container of dairy/gluten free ice cream I started the night before. I owe it to myself to try everything before resorting to going back on meds. And I can’t keep living like this– not with going back to work anyways-I can barely move at times 😬

I took today very slow. I woke up and iced my foot, then talked on the phone and didn’t walk until I’d been up for a couple hours. Now that it’s later in the summer, days aren’t as hot and I can walk the dog later. My foot hurt and I only was able to walk 1.5 miles.

I laid around for awhile after getting home, and finally got around to making celery and lemon juice around 11:00. I didn’t finish the celery juice until after 2pm then had to take my son to his orthodontist appointment. When I got home I took a nap. When I woke up I felt the best I’ve felt in a day or two. I’m now drinking the heavy metal detox smoothie and it’s after 5.

I may or may not eat later on. If I do, I plan to have a baked potato with spinach, a little dressing or salsa and maybe cauliflower rice. I might have the liver rescue smoothie instead. If I’m feeling extra hungry, I might do both.

Yesterday was a long and emotional day, and the stress may have contributed to feeling bad. I got up early so I could juice celery and do the cleanse (the other drinks were already made). I walked and started the cleanse when I got back. I took the smoothie with me and drove to pack up my classroom. I was emotional on the way there- which was a foreign feeling for me leaving a job. I think I’ve ran from every other job I quit! This job is different- and I’m different- no longer running from stressful relationships. In the nine years I’ve been there, I’ve changed SO much. I lost my mom, accepted and dealt with my alcoholism and in a nutshell-I grew up.

I didn’t have a ton of things to pack, but still it was a lot of work for my healing body. Afterwards, I had to get to the airport to pick up my niece. I had go back a few hours later to get my own kiddo- but hubby was out of work and drove- and I was grateful to just ride.

It’s starting to hurt typing this up, so I’ll leave it as that.

Tomorrow will be even better- I know it! ❤

Detox 31 & 32 – Feeling 90

I’m not sure what’s happening but it’s sure been a rough couple of days.

I’m trying to stay positive, and remain calm, but a part of me is trying to panic at the thought of starting a new job.

What was I thinking???? 😳

It’s no fun to be 45 & have to get up and walk so slowly like a very elderly person- especially when you don’t know why.

I know that this too shall pass, I just hope it passes quickly 🙏🏻

Onto day 33 tomorrow.

No Detox- Break Day Monday

No cleansing today, as I was out of supplies. It’s okay, I think with the edema (from exiting toxins?) a little break might be a good idea.

I got my cleansing supplies today, even lemons so for the first time I’ll be using fresh lemon juice for my lemon water- which I guess is important for those enzymes available only immediately (or at least within 24 hours) of juicing. I also got dragon fruit, which I need for the liver detox smoothie, so I think I’ll have that tomorrow as an afternoon pick-me-up.

After the overeating illegal foods over the weekend, my pain has been quite a bit better today. The swelling in my hands and feet have been minimal also- although I didn’t walk this morning. The morning walk has seemed make the swelling worse lately, so tomorrow will be the test- assuming I get my walk in.

Today was a very exciting day. I had my interview- which as it turns out was indeed for an elementary position- and within about an hour I was emailing my principal that I’ve accepted a position in my home district. They still need to check my references, but I asked them to wait for me to give him a heads-up first.

I thanked him for many things that he’s given me these past nine 8 years- and it was all honest. He replied with a congratulations and told me that my quality life would be better working two miles from home.

What a whirlwind day!

Back to the cleanse- day 31 (I think??) tomorrow 😊

Abraham Day

A great day indeed!!

Our hotel does not have a fridge or microwave (what the heck Hilton?), so I’ve really been having to eat out & ate some bad food (AKA dairy & gluten and on second thought the delicious chocolate muffins I had with my breakfast probably had eggs).

What else would you expect to see in the window of the location of a spiritual convention the morning of?

I was up early and wanted to be quiet for sleeping hubby, so I started my morning with wall (window 😭) sits, a full body reiki session (long overdue) and a medical medium meditation on fear. It felt good to just BE, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve done those kind of things.

The meditation on fear (it was about overcoming fear to cross the bridge to connect with the inner self) resonates with me big time. I listened to it Friday morning on my walk, but couldn’t close my eyes and do the visualizing while walking.

This time I did. As the bridge crumbled behind me & there was no turning back, I thought of my disease and healing journey. It was a direct parody and I could see it now so clearly. So many times I looked back, with fear, and then more fear when looking ahead into the unknown. This clarity gave me peace and trust, that my inner self is guiding me and I’m on the right path. (Meditation linked below).

I also had clarity this morning regarding a job interview I have on Monday. I found out about it on the way down and have been feeling all the feels since. Since gaining this clarity, I feel much more confident and calm about it, regardless of the outcome 🙏🏻

The Abraham workshop was long, but interesting. The only unusual thing to note was a ton of nervous energy I had going into it. My nerves eventually subsided, but I was and still am perplexed by how I felt. I think I expected to feel the exact opposite.

For a little summary, here’s what I posted in a Facebook group, responding to the question below:

For those of you that attended the Chicago workshop – what spoke to you the most?!

The man who declared his frustration w/the medical field resonated and while I thought my question would be answered through him- it caused me more confusion untiI I was able to sit with it for awhile. He was frustrated that they didn’t diagnose him- while I’ve been super frustrated at the diagnosis of an (I almost typed MY- it is not my disease- still need to get this belief out of my head!) autoimmune disease 8 years ago. Through life experience & research, I’ve learned that the diagnosis is based on symptoms alone and that they are symptoms that I can heal with diet. I’m mad that my rheumatologist doesn’t have this knowledge and that I bought into it. I guess after hearing that guy, I realize that diagnosis or no diagnosis IT DOESNT MATTER. I guess the diagnosis did give me lots and lots of things that I’m able to say is now in my vortex. Overall, I’m better off for it- and grateful where I’m at today. (I really loved the 13 yr old story- and love that she kept coming back to it – it was a good reminder to remember & honor our pure inner child – as well as to allow me to be better at allowing my own 13 year old son’s perspective)

After the workshop, hubby and I went back to our room and debriefed. While he isn’t nearly as much as a fan and believer like me, it was fun to discuss the stories, relate them to things in our life and talk about our perception of the validity of the ideas they spoke of.

A little bit later we went to a delicious Mexican restaurant for dinner. I had cheese and sour cream on my tostadas.

For most of the day yesterday, I didn’t feel much (if at all) worse physically from eating the things I’ve been trying hard to steer clear from.

By the time we got home, I could feel it. Most noticeable was the pain in my joints, especially my shoulders. I took Motrin before bed and woke up at 3:30 in agony. I couldn’t get comfortable and when I did it lasted for a minute before my shoulders would become stiff and cramp up again. I took M & T and then again when I woke up still sore at 7:30 (but I was able to sleep- such a blessing).

I’ve been off Enbrel for over 3 weeks now. I truly feel that being off it has helped me correlate my symptoms with food. My next goal is to not cheat on everything at once so I can see how each group affects me.

It’s now Sunday and we’re on our way home. I feel okay but am still taking pain meds every 4 hours 😬 to avoid massive soreness. I’m looking forward to being home and having eating be easy ☺️

Sadly, I’m out of celery and cilantro so I don’t think I’ll be able to cleanse tomorrow. I’m okay with just eating clean. I’m not sure if I told you already, but I’ve also gained clarity that the swelling in my hands and feet is not due to my RA but it’s classic edema due to the massive out-flux and shifting of toxins. My lymphatic system is on overload and I may want to slow things down. I’m at least going to start incorporating the liver detox cleanse into my routine- maybe doing two days of the heavy metal detox smoothie and then two days of the liver cleanse smoothie – or maybe by adding it as an afternoon pick-me-up- not sure yet, I still need to consult my self and body on the matter 🙏🏻🦋

Happy Sunday Funday everyone- I hope you are having loads of fun 🎉🎉🎉

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/003-brain-meditation-letting-go-of-fear/id1133835109?i=1000492358953