Monday, September 29, 2008

I Adopted a New Cat Today!

This blog has nothing to do with addictions today. I lost my precious cat Wilson on July 23 this year. It was tough losing him even though he was probably close to 20 years old.

I went to ASAP in Santa Barbara. I support this place financially because they will not put down any cats that are brought in. They lovingly care for each cat until it gets adopted, and all eventually get adopted. I've been in about 6 times since Wilson died.

Today I left work early to go to ASAP and I picked a 5 year old orange and white cat (male) and brought him home. He's purring and rubbing up against me. He's very affectionate. I also have a 10 year female that's not too sure yet how she feels about a new cat. I have sensed however that Maggie has been missing having another cat around. Even though she never really liked Wilson she tolerated him and at least it was something to look at all day.

It's nice having 2 cats again...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What Happened to Conviction?

I'm a big believer that when someone says they're going to do something, they do it. If you tell yourself you're going to do something do you follow through and do it? Or do you usually come up with excuses as to why you can't do it now or the circumstances are such that you can't finish now so you'll put it off...blah, blah, blah.....

I look around and I hate to say it but it seems that we just think we can do something if it's not difficult. Like quitting an addiction. We say we'd like to quit....but it will be too hard! It might be difficult but that doesn't mean you can't do it. Think about that. Instead of these words being depressing for you, let them be uplifting. YOU CAN QUIT YOUR ADDICTION.

Doesn't it feel good to hear the truth?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Be Bold!

I was thinking about what I wanted to write in my blog tonight and this title flashed across my mind---Be Bold! What do I mean by that?

If you're going to take on quitting an addiction you must be bold. You will have so many circumstances come up where you think you won't be able to stay sober, off the cigarettes---whatever your addiction is. You will have doubts come up as to whether or not you can really stay free of the addiction. Family and friends--believe it or not---may try to sabotage your firm plans to get free of your addiction.

So learn to be bold! Speak up! Say no, and do what you have decided to do. You can do it. Remember, bold!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Will Life Be Perfect When You Quit Your Addiction?

It's funny but that's what I thought when I was 16 years old. I thought if I lost weight and became thin my life would be perfect---no problems. Life would be bliss forever more. I also thought the same when I quit drinking. The first week I had quit drinking I was so happy and thinking "wow, life is going to be like this for the rest of my life." And I believed it!

Then I started having challenges a few months after I quit drinking. I had challenges when I was drinking too but I just drank and rarely tackled the challenges. I remember crying a lot for months off and on. Why?

Because I was getting used to having to face life. Before I drank and now I wasn't drinking. I'm so glad that I was aware of what was happening because I knew I'd perservere and it would eventually get better. And it did.

Just know that quitting your addiction won't necessarily make your life perfect, but your life will be infinitely better. Life will be better solely because you quit your addiction. But if you're open and willing to do the work that needs to be done in your life to change, you'll improve all throughout your life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Book's Release Date.....

was yesterday and I forgot to blog! I woke up in the morning and I sat drinking my coffee thinking - wow! 5 years ago I got the book idea and KNEW I would see it through until it was finished...and here is the day.

There were so many difficulties during those years: I went through 2 deaths and stopped everything with the book; things just dragged on and on at times and it seemed I'd never finish and since I'd never written a book before I didn't know who to call to help me---editors, cover design people, proofreaders. It was all a total learning experience but it was worth it. I learned when I quit drinking 21 years ago that I could do anything I set out to do.

And you know.....I have a book...I'm an author.....I'm published....and it feels good!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Take One Penquin Step at a Time

I know how overwhelming life can get when you're trying to change something in your life, such as quitting an addiction. If it's drinking you're quitting you may be thinking ahead of all the things you will probably have to do: not see some friends so much or completely let them go from your life, go to A.A. meetings or do something else productive to fill up the time you used to spend drinking, taking up new hobbies, reading books. Whatever it is, yes, it can be overwhelming.

My suggestion is to just do one thing today...take a penguin step. If you know all you are asking of yourself today is to change one thing, then it's doable isn't it? You can do it today---change one thing. Tomorrow take another penguin step and do something else that supports your quitting drinking.

Penguin steps, penguin steps, ahhhhh penguin steps......

Friday, September 12, 2008

Support After You Quit Your Addiction

When I quit drinking I only told my boyfriend, mom, sister and my best friend. This was something so huge for me---quitting drinking---that I didn't want anyone's thoughts, comments or praise. I just kept it to myself for several months.

From day 1 I had support from those whom I told. They really never said much, but I think they were just all amazed that I was quitting for good. I asked my family and friends years later if they believed me when I said I was quitting drinking in 1987. Every single one of them said they knew that this time was different---they all knew I was going to quit for good. They were all very happy too! A huge weight lifted from friends and family. Linda is not longer drinking!

Support is important when you're dealing with quitting addictions. But even if you don't seem to have that much support, it's still important to quit for yourself. I know how nice it is for people to be saying nice things about the fact that you're not smoking, drinking---whatever the addiction is---but you still can give yourself support if others don't. Give yourself the old "attaboy" or "attagirl!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's Easy to Put Off Losing Weight

I know it's easy to put off quitting an addiction because I did it all the time. I used to say "I'll start losing weight tomorrow." Then I'd eat a bunch of crap until I couldn't eat anymore. I played this game for years with myself, mostly with food. I had a sure-fire way to lose weight quickly so I thought I'd just enjoy eating and gaining weight since I knew I could get that weight off so quickly.

But it never happened the way I thought it would. I gained weight and every time I tried to go on one of my quick weight loss diets I got sick and had to "eat normally" until I felt better. So my plan back-fired.

If you really want to quit your addiction you need to make the decision to do it, then just do it. Sounds easy? It really is.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Feeling Weighed Down

When I was 210 pounds I would lie in bed and think what an effort it was going to be to get up out of bed. I was carrying about 80 extra pounds at the time and if you think about it, it's like dragging around 10 newborns all the time! Since it's been so long since I was overweight I can't remember that much about my thoughts at that time. I just remember that I felt hatred towards myself and I felt like a glutton. I was embarassed of what people were most likely thinking of the way I looked. I was shy back then too.

So what did I do? I ate more....and more....which added to my feeling hatred for myself. But since I didn't have a good image of myself it was easy to eat and hate myself and hate my body. Catch-22 isn't it? I hate myself, I eat, I get fat.

That was a depressing way to live...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Exercise Helps When You're Quitting an Addiction

When I quit drinking 21 years ago one of the first changes I made in my life was that I started exercising. I think I started the first week i quit. I would get home from work and get my jeans and tennis shoes on and be out the door in 5 minutes. I used to have a drink in my hand 5 minutes after I got home so I didn't want to hang around the apartment at all. I just didn't want the old "alcohol" thoughts to come and try to nudge me to drink again. I knew I wouldn't drink, but I wanted to get right into a new routine.

I'd walk for about 1.5 miles every night for several months then I started working out at the gym and have been a member for over 20 years. I go to the gym on the average of 5 times a week now. I just love the feeling of getting the endorphines flowing. I'll always exercise. In my opinion, exercise is something healthy you can do for yourself and you just feel better, sleep better and it gives your face a nice color too! When you're doing healthy things for yourself, your mind starts thinking of health, rather than addictions. That's what happened for me anyway....

Monday, September 1, 2008

It May Not Be Easy To Quit An Addiction...

But you still can do it. I know even for myself sometimes I think I can't do something because it's not easy. It might take some work and I doubt myself. Then when I'm thinking clearly I see how absurd those thoughts are and I admit that I CAN do the thing I thought I couldn't.....but it won't be easy. Then I'm back on track again to figure out how I'm going to do it.

Same thing with addictions. I've seen and spoken with people who doubt they can quit the addiction that's ruining their lives. They'd rather have their lives run by their addiction than to get some grit and tackle their problem. I think they see it as "easier". I don't think so!

It sounds strange to say this but I will---when you're going through quitting your addiction and it gets difficult, tell yourself "it may be difficult but I can do it." And then do it!