ONE YEAR BOOZE-FREE.

sober me

Wow. It has been one entire year since I stopped drinking. I remember on day 4 looking at my ‘quitter app’ thinking ‘gosh four days is not very long… but soon this will say 1 month, then 6 months, and then 1 year – you can do it.’ I had no idea I would grow and change so much. I had no idea I wouldn’t have to endure my life anymore. I had no idea how fucking happy and awesome I would become during these 365 days. I shouldn’t act like I can’t believe it, because I can – I made all the choices to stay sober and did all the work. I guess if anything I just can’t believe how amazing life is sober and I am in awe everyday at how much more awesome life gets.

On July 24, 2013, I knew I was done with alcohol indefinitely. It had been a long time coming and after years of saying I could control my intake and my drunk behavior, I reached a point where I knew I was not in charge of my drinking anymore. Drinking just was not fun. I would lose important things, spend money I barely had, looked terrible, felt terrible, and emotionally was just a vacant person with no self esteem. I wasn’t drinking round the clock or taking nips here and there, but I was not able to separate drinking and priorities anymore. That sounds sad, and honestly it was. I would try to do things and ultimately I would psych myself out or not be reliable or consistent about anything. Then, I think of all the drama and the anxiety I have caused for family and friends. The erratic and inconsistent behavior was just a drag for me and for everyone around me. Living paycheck to paycheck because of uncontrolled spending sucked too. Drinks? Sure! Dinner out? Sure! Random crap because drinking makes preplanning impossible? Sure! Plus don’t forget I was supporting a household!

The first few months I felt firm in my decision and very nervous around drinkers, like I had something to hide or be ashamed of. I can laugh at that now because I’ve come to find being sober is a characteristic almost all people envy. Heavy drinkers always commend me on my sobriety and ‘wish’ they could do it. I’ve had people be critical and worried that I chose to get sober without AA or a formal support group, but honestly it’s been incredibly easy to be sober. I don’t put myself in situations that would illicit me not being sober. That means emotionally and psychically. I can very easily go to bars/clubs/events and have a blast – the best part is that I don’t spend hundreds of dollars, talk out of my ass to strangers/friends, and then I remember everything and truly enjoy it.

Probably the reason I made it past my birthday (July 30) and remained sober for those first few critical weeks was my dearest friend Tannith. Our friendship, her support, and her own sober journey allowed for me to have someone I trusted to turn to when I had questions or just observations about this new sober world. Her support and enthusiasm for sobriety showed me that it entails a world without ‘missing’ because her life is so much more full in sobriety too. Tannith, you were my rays of sunshine in the dark and lonely storm. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you and your family sharing this journey with me. I am especially glad that we have a true friendship and can experience it all sober. I love you and am so grateful for you.

While I’m thanking people I should also commend my family. Mom, you were always right – booze is lame. Thank you for supporting me and dealing with the old Brianna. Thank you for not ever saying ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ and especially thank you for being my friend. Words can’t even express my gratitude for your love. Dad, thanks for reminding me to not be so hard on myself and taking me to the edge of my thoughts and comfort zones. You are able to transform the way I see things and I’m so grateful for you.

Honestly, I think back to the person I was a year ago, and I don’t even know her. I am so happy. Truly happy to be sober and to be enjoying my beautiful life. The more removed I get from my old life, the more wonderful I become. I cannot stress that enough, sober living is so marvelous. This world is stunning and for me, alcohol makes everything fuzzy. I will never be sad that I cannot drink or rather will not drink, because I am in love with reality.

I am so fucking proud that one year ago today I finally let go of alcohol. I gave myself the opportunity to grow and to become this person I truly love. Goddamn, life is good.

xxx
GFK

Centered Self May 2014

Happy Monday. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was very nice aside from my normal GMAT angst. I’m sadly just not doing well in the practice exams anymore. I excel and make huge progress in the practice questions every night when I study for 2-3 hours, but not on the exams I take Saturday. I think, and I know it may sound like I’m ‘opting-out’, but that I may just stop taking the full length practice exams now that there is 1 month till my test. They do not help me confidence wise nor do they help me focus on my ‘weaknesses’ I seem to do poorly/strongly in a new subject each week – making it so nothing is consistent. I’m gonna try for this approach since my 8 weeks of weekly CAT exams have not seemed to help me. I realize that I am rushing, because once I ‘get it over with’ I can actually enjoy my weekend. Honestly, it’s going to come down to that day of the test. All I can do is keep practicing out of my OG book 2-3 hours a day and pray to God and to all the underdog stories of all time that I will pull a decent score out of my ass on May 31. But, worst case scenario I take a formal course with Manhattan in the late summer.

le sigh. Aside from that I had a really nice reflective weekend. I have to marvel at how much I have grown in the past 9+ months mentally and physically. I am able to do things and experience emotions I would have never thought I would work through and make work for me. Mentally, I concurred my anxiety and overcame the insecurities that plagued me for most of my adult life. I am able to accept my faults and to gain strength from my successes. I’ve kicked the negativity to the curb along with all the people that facilitate negative thoughts and actions for me. Living a life without being brought down by others is marvelous. I have never been so free in losing myself in what I love. I finally have found what true security and self-love means.

Plus, I am so lucky to have a strong support group, that only wants to support me and see me succeed. Likewise, I have found immense happiness in inspiring others and trying to infuse a positive support system from myself to anyone I talk to. That doesn’t mean I still don’t have emo or bad days, but I sure as hell snap out of them more quickly and find myself engaging in more meaningful ways of coping with ‘the blues.’ I do have a hard time with expectations, but honestly my core group of friends and family always exceed any expectations that I would have. I’m truly blessed to have people that genuinely care for me and want to see me succeed and be happy. On the physical side of things, I have never been more strong and motivated. I can run like the wind! Well an 8-10 mile an hour breeze, but still that’s GREAT! I also have achieved my handstand goals and now can do unassisted handstands for 30seconds – 1 minute. I’m working on movement poses, but with a curious unnamed kitten – being upside down and trying to switch pose positions is quite difficult. I have to say I really enjoy knowing that I am strong from the inside – humble confidence radiates out of me these days.

I also made this ADORABLE geisha girl from Benartex Panel Prints. I got mine here and it actually took about 2-3 days to receive her! I had a blast putting her together at my friend’s house (duel sewing machines!) and then hand stitching at home (which I still need A LOT of work on).

Last weekend I decided to plant some kitchen herbs and I was so excited to see that 3/4 have already germinated! I’ll have Basil (pictured), Oregano (still waiting on it to germinate), Cilantro, and Rosemary in a few weeks! I also bought an organic Mint plant from Wal-Mart on Saturday and made virgin-zero calorie-full fun juleps/mockjitos with some lemon-lime soda water and stevia. 🙂

I also will admit my favorite treat are those super cheap ice cream cups from Wal-Mart. They have a birthday cake one that is so so tasty. I have friends that help me eat it. *note I was done eating it – I am not that gross to share food with the cats.

I attempted to ‘sun-proof’ and thus heat-proof my living room this weekend also. I used some of those emergency thermal blankets, as I read a HOW TO HERE. Boris was the foreman for this job and inspected my work. I don’t know if this is gonna last/work. The crinkly noise is kind of annoying. TBD. If this <$5 experiment does not work I may splurge and get these real thermal black out drapes. Or I’ll buy those car window black-out foam things and suspend them… God things are getting weird at my house.

This might explain what’s up.

xxx
GFK

LET’S GET ALL SQUISHEE.


At the beginning of March I made a little ‘to-do’ list and I just wanted to revisit that and set some new intentions for Spring now that we are really getting into some wonderful weather.

1. Go to the dentist. I did it! After what seemed like decades of bad news at the dentist, I finally received an ‘outstanding’ review and found out more about my options for dealing with my 15 year old root canals. Since the integrity of my teeth is really great, the dentist told me I would have these ‘dead-teeth’ for a long time and could go with a ‘less invasive’ method of crowns for fixing the color issue I have going on. CUTE! I know right!? Anyways, maybe prepare yourself for the panic stricken dental posts that will begin to show up as I embark on this endeavor in the next six months.

2. Cheapskates are the BEST skates! Well my cheapskate lifestyle is really gaining momentum. I’ve managed to stop consuming new clothing and housewares items. I’ve cut my shopping bill to reflect a sustainable, yet low amount each week. I’ve even gone so far as to price compare at several store and online for the items I consume regularly. I signed up on Amazon’s FREE Subscribe and Save plan for several reoccurring items that I use such as face wipes, wet ones for the cats, allergy medicine, floss, toothpaste, vitamins, Vega protein powder, and lotions. The great thing about the subscription plan is that you can save up to 15% off each item and you can choose the frequency of how often you’d like to receive the item. Then you receive all your monthly subscriptions on the same day depending on your frequency selection. PLUS you can cancel or opt out of it at any time. It’s really a great program and there are quite a few discounts/coupons floating around that take 30% off your first Subscribe and Save enrollment. I even called up my current satellite and internet providers and negotiated new cheaper plans – and somehow got SHOWTIME and STARZ for FREE!!! (for three months). Cut my monthly bill by $30 calling on both! 🙂

3. Lent. Going strong with my GIANT reduction in froyo. Thank goodness. Adios frozen yogurt. I’ve only had it twice all of Lent. However, now is probably not a good time to ask me about all the Easter Candy and limited edition sugar I’ve consumed in place. SAY SUMTHING!

4. Positive Energy. In this goal I have made the most improvement. I really did kick the negativity to the curb. Both in my personal and professional life I’ve made immense efforts to be positive. Don’t get me wrong I’m still emo as hell sometimes and will readily drop a UGH MY LIFE IS OVER in jest (well mostly jest), but I’m not focusing on the negative. Life is wonderful right now and the fact that I am rocking it, is just glorious. I worked really hard to get here – I’m healthy, I’m sober, I’m busy, I’m creative, I’m excited and most of all I’m able to love myself and the great family and friends that have my back. I owe a lot to PMA and to my support group. I’d also just like to give a huge kudos and squeeze to my ‘heterolife mate’ and life-seester Tannith – she has been my sounding board and a great friend in all these changes despite being such a stupendous wife and mother to her own family!

For some new intentions I really want to find a balance in fitness. I love working out – for the physical results, but also for the mental benefits. I rejoined an online Yoga site to practice some things at home and so far I’m loving it. There is deep twisting for detoxification and wonderful work for tight shoulder (because the chiropractor visits are few and far between) and hamstrings. I think keeping with my existing cardio regimine but adding yoga to the mix will be splendid. Further, I really want to focus on being a leader and student in my health, crafts, and relationships. I’m so grateful I have this moment to be proud and look at all the gifts I’ve given myself.

See I told you I’m all squishee.

BARF RAINBOWS.

XXX
GFK

Lois Came for a Visit

Lois – my mom (and my nickname for her) came to visit over the weekend. I was so glad to just hang out, run errands, and eat super tasty food with her. Honestly, I forget that I’m here alone, because of social media and phones. But, I LOVED having her here even if it was for a few short days.

We both started watching Chicago P.D. and got addicted.

Don’t worry I don’t have my mom come all this way just to watch TV! We were working on our Heliopath KALs!

1/2 way done with the cable pattern!

Then, I have been on the market for some vintage Pyrex – but I’m still too cheapskate to pay the retail prices for it now. I mean, all the sellers know it’s popular at the moment so for a set of 4 nesting bowls it’s common to see $100 price tag attached. I’m more into the designed square refrigerator ones so it’ll take time to ease in to that hobby. BUT. We went to this great Vintage/Retro Kitchen store in Chicago called Jazze Junque and it was way cool. She had loads of vintage Pyrex, $500 cookie jars, plates, mugs, kitchen sets, glasses – I was in heaven.

I got this Simpsons gem for $2! 🙂

We ate amazing Polish food at Staropolska in my neighborhood too. I tried to practice my Polish, but I’m too shy and got way too nervous. But the waitress was really nice, even after I made an ass out of myself trying.

placek z cukini z piersia z kury, papryka, cebula, cukinia, kozi ser (zucchini pancakes with chicken, peppers, goat cheese)
kiełbasa z kapusta (sausage and cabbage)

We also got tattoos. I got this ‘Dunwich Horror’ inspired monster man and done by Josh Howard at Pioneer Tattoo in Chicago.

Done by Mr. Josh Howard

I made this little tissue ‘coozie’ for Josh Howard also since he is an elderly_lady.

strawberry chocolate cake.

Overall great weekend. Back to reality.

XXX
GFK

If I had a…..

Day 5 of the October Daily Blogger Challenge – This one is going to be fun…

Complete the sentence: If I had a _________, I would __________. You can make as many sentences as you’d like.

1. If I had a TIME MACHINE, I would GO BACK AND WARN TESLA ABOUT THAT M*****F***** EDISON.
2. If I had a WINNING LOTTERY TICKET, I would ONLY TELL THREE PEOPLE & HEAD TO PARIS FOR VACATION.
3. If I had TALKING CATS, I would RUN A BLOG JUST BASED ON THEIR RANTS.
4. If I had a JOB AT A CRAFT STORE, I would BE SO INSPIRED EVERYDAY/MAKE ALL THE CRAFTS!
5. If I had a PHD, I would TEACH ECON 101 AND TRY TO INSPIRE FUTURE ECONOMISTS LIKE I WAS INSPIRED.
6. If I had ANOTHER PUG, I would NAME HIM D’ARTAGNAN – but I will not get another pug so don’t worry Lois.
7. If I had ONE EXTRA DAY A WEEK, I would DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
8. If I had a TELEPORTER, I would visit DENVER, FT. WORTH, SAN ANTONIO, NEW MEXICO, SEATLE, & FLORIDA DAILY.

These kinds of lists are fun, but it gets me thinking about the ‘what ifs’ in our lives. I recently have been FINALLY fulfilling a lot of my ‘what ifs’ and it is the best feeling in the world. Learning new hobbies, crafts – meeting new people, discovering new ways of life and lifestyles – it’s the ‘what ifs’ that make the goals and dreams in our lives. I’m happy do say my ‘what ifs’ get better and better as I continue to be the person I love being.

What are some of your ‘what ifs’? If you had more time in the day what would you do? Could you make it a reality now? Do you have some silly ‘what ifs’ to share? PLEASE DO!

in case you were wondering this is what a two-headed Boris would look like. FANCY!
in case you were wondering this is what a two-headed Boris would look like. FANCY!

xxxx

GFK