Month: October 2014

The Fall Breakdown

As seasons change, I always notice vast amounts writers who post on the personal meaning the season brings for them. I love this, so I am going to do the same.

Fall brings with it so many things I treasure. Yes, including the pumpkin craze. I have had my fair share of PSLs this month and I am fully stocked up on teas, coffees etc. I am actually drinking Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice coffee right now. It is heavenly, you should try it. Seriously, go buy it before its too late. I of course love the colours of fall, whether it be the leaves, the sky or pulling out all my brown and red scarfs from the bottom of my closet. Fall is cozy and comfortable, its layers and booties. Fall is the perfect middle between summer and winter. Yes, fall is my favourite season.

But, fall also scares me. This time of transition between summer and winter is always the hardest time of year for me. I can think back on all the moments in my life that have hurt deeply and so many of them have occurred in the fall.

Why then, you might ask, is this time my favourite time of the year?

Let me explain.

I love summer as much as anyone. I love the nostalgic feeling I get when I smell sunscreen or see the scar on my stomach I received at summer camp long ago. I enjoy tan lines and could have BBQ’d corn errday. And truthfully, I love how surreal summer is. You can never remake a summer, each one is so unique. I notice the surreal side of summer most in winter, when it hasn’t stopped raining in weeks (honestly, some places in Canada just don’t get much snow. I promise), and you would give anything to be on the dock at the lake once again. But, as you have this memory it can feel like it happened in a different world, a world not of your own life. Maybe even like it happened in a book you once read or a movie you once watched. Summer to me is a well needed escape from the sometimes painful lives we live.

On the other hand I believe fall represents most clearly the reality that is ours. As we delete the summer playlist from our itunes, and as our burns begin to fad, and weekends are back to just two days a week reality begins to creep in. We start to get ready for the real stuff. As I like to call it – “the fall breakdown”. I don’t mean a breakdown in an actual mental or physical way, rather a breaking down of all the walls we put up to simply enjoy the bliss of summer. The things we couldn’t hear over our playlists or pushed aside to enjoy each and every late night sunset. These realities can hit us hard and I think we hold onto our defences against them as long as we can, but as fall begins to turn to winter we like those stubborn last few wet and soggy leaves will have to fall in defeat to the ground beneath us.

So, fall scares me. It scares me because I always know it has something to teach me and the lessons won’t be easy. They will involve falling, hitting the bottom and most likely staying there for a while. Because as winter rolls around the time of waiting begins, before things can be made new in the spring.

Fall is a painful time for me, but it’s the most real friend I could ever ask for. Like bone it breaks me down so I can be built up stronger. I am forever thankful for this time even as I wrestle against it.

This year I want to be prepared for the wait. For that slow and sometimes unnoticeable growth winter brings.

I trust fall will get me there.

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Cheers to that!

Tomorrow is going to mark 30 days of sobriety. And, though I have mentioned it to a few friends and family, today is my official announcement of sobriety.

I realize to many this may come as a bit a of shock and I should probably clarify I am not an alcoholic nor do I think I have ever had a problem with drinking – if we are describing problem as drinking too often or for the wrong reasons. In fact except for a stint or two in the past I have never been much of a drinker. A glass or two a week of good wine always seemed to quench my thirst. Usually. I think overindulgence is sometimes called for.

But, all of this aside I have decided to give up alcohol completely, for a year to start though I imagine it being more of a life long commitment. I have been trying to muster up my courage for a year now and with the help of some beautiful souls I have finally got there.

If you would entertain my ramblings though, I would like the chance to explain. I have been so nervous to tell anyone and have put it off for so long, because frankly I was scared of what you would all think. I am a people pleaser and I shouldn’t be, also I need to trust you all enough to know you wouldn’t judge me. I am sorry for my little faith. I also desperately didn’t want to be different – a lesson I am still learning.

Here it is, my journey to sobriety:

First of all, I love alcohol (an appropriate amount of course). I love the taste of red wine and chocolate, of summer spritzers and fresh fruit, of good tequila and tacos, and gluten free beer whenever I can find it. I also love the community of alcohol. From beer and bible studies, wine and cheese nights, a celebratory shot for babies born and marriages announced. I think responsible drinking serves as a great community builder. I also appreciate the courage a glass of wine gives me to speak my mind or to take a chance I was to chicken to take an hour before (It has brought on some of my favourite stories to tell).

On the other hand alcohol and I have had our tensions over the years. Most evident in the last couple years. These past few years have been laden with emotional growth and self-awareness that I am so thankful for, but in this process I have discovered I am an extremely sensitive person (I know, most of you could have told me that ten years ago). This new revelation (for me) has caused me to really evaluate and pay attention to my emotional moods and my physiological responses. And about a year ago now I realized I have both extremely high emotional and physiological responses to alcohol. This led to an experiment of types, amounts, occasions, diets around my alcohol consumption, and doctors appointments, to try and find ways in which I am not affected. In the end all roads led to the following conclusion:

any alcohol consumption is part of drastic mood changes which last for hours up to days, stomach aches I can’t shake with ginger tea and a series of head aches and body aches.

For me the positives of alcohol just were not outweighing the negatives anymore, so now begins my journey of sobriety. And this is what I need to ask of you, my friends. Please still invite to wine and cheese nights (heck suggest I host them!), take me to your favourite bar, have margaritas with me on the beach and never be scared to bring wine over for dinner (my husband loves a good glass of wine and will be very thankful), come over for end of the week drinks (we are usually stocked), and lastly please enjoy every minute of it with me.

I want alcohol to be a good and healthy part of anyone’s life who it is good for. I just have to face the reality it is not good for me. And that is okay. At least is becoming okay.

Thank you all so much for your love and friendship. I am so glad I could post this on thanksgiving weekend. I treasure you all.

Cheers to journeys and friends and doing life together.