You Are in Control of What You Accept

Each and every day we control what we allow into our lives and what we don’t. We allow that boss to be a dick to us. We allow the person who cut us off in traffic to get on our nerves. We allow ourselves to be nitpicky at our spouses for not taking out the trash. We allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the number of emails in our inbox.

We are allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed and burnt out as long as we don’t take any steps to change it. We are allowing people to be asshats and be disrespectful as long as we don’t stand up for ourselves. We are accepting it because we think we can’t control it.

We can’t control other people, that’s right. But we can control how we respond to other people and situations that we face.

I used to be queen of accepting others being complete bitches to me. I didn’t have a clue how to stop accepting their shitty treatment. All I knew was that I didn’t like confrontation and didn’t want to cause any problems. So I let other people roll over me again and again.

I still don’t like confrontation and I still suck at standing up for myself. What I have improved at is directing a conversation away from topics that will cause someone to bully me or disrespect me in any way.

One such way I’ve done that over the years is by cutting off all communication with my father. I really don’t even like admitting he is my father, it just feels wrong. He is a drug addict alcoholic who only cares about himself. I stood up for myself and didn’t allow him at my wedding. He didn’t have my contact information for years. Then one day, he got into his mother’s phone and got my phone number. In fact, he took it a step further and texted me from her phone telling me he was going to text me from his phone and that he acknowledged that my grandmother told him no.

He did text me. He sent me some very hurtful messages. Hurtful for me and hurtful for my grandmother. Those texts challenged my resolve. They challenged me to give into his, most likely drug-induced, self-pity rant that he was trying to spin as caring-ish about me. Those texts challenged my anger control.

After reading and rereading the texts and meditating on them, I shared them with my husband and sister and was able to simply have the reaction of ‘wow, he is going there.’

I was not willing to accept the self-pitying, cry for attention that he was exhibiting. I didn’t respond. I archived the text and moved on with my day. I was not willing to accept that kind of hell back into my life.

I am really good at controlling what I accept with some things and some people and really horrible with other things and people. I don’t have it all figured out. I still can get into an emotional or angered state depending on specific people and situations. But I have gotten better at protecting my peace and what I accept with quite a few people and situations.

For me, it all started with breaking free from those who continued to bring me down as I was trying to start my life. I stopped accepting so many things just out of high school. I worked really hard to stop accepting more over the years by building up walls. Once my walls were shattered, I had to relearn how to protect my peace and really determine what I would and would not accept in my life.

I’ve stumbled over and over again. For me, it always comes back to wanting to feel loved and needing to be shown that love, and my impatience. These two topics are what challenges my resolve on what I accept.

I have only gotten to where I am today with knowing what I will and won’t accept by doing the hard work and cutting people and things out of my life. One step at a time. One day at a time. One change at a time.

Today I can say with 85 percent confidence, I am absolutely in control of what I am accepting. The other 15 percent is me allowing my lack of control to go through the growth and learning that I still have left to do. My growth and my learning will never end, but controlling what I accept will become easier and easier.

When Alcohol is Love

As I started reading the chapter When Food is Love in The Soul Frequency by Shanna Lee, I immediately had light bulbs going off and bells dinging all around my mind. I’m pretty sure it all started with just the title of the chapter.

I had my last drink of alcohol 45 days ago. Since then I’ve done really well. Until this last week. I wanted the taste of wine so bad. I looked forward to events coming up and felt sadness around not drinking alcohol of any form. I associate alcohol with almost everything in my life.

It’s not like I need the effects of alcohol for any reason, I literally just want the taste of it. I have fought for so many years not to be considered an alcoholic like my parents and I can still say, I am not an alcoholic. That isn’t why I quit alcohol. For why, read Alcohol Part One and Alcohol Part Two.

But I digress.

When I read the title of the chapter, When Food is Love, it was like a slap in the face. DUH! Of course that explains everything. Alcohol is what helped me to break free of the worst of my shyness. Alcohol is what helped me make friends with the popular kids. Alcohol is what made most of my future friends. Alcohol is how I let loose from my fear of so many things. Alcohol has been love for me.

As I look back at the years since I started drinking, so much of the love I felt came when alcohol was involved. Love is why I look at events coming up and don’t know what to do without alcohol. I’ll tell you what I do at these events: DRINK WATER!!!

Alcohol is not love. Now that I have identified my emotions around alcohol, I can begin to retrain them.

Alcohol Part One

When we think of alcohol, we think of many types as well as different types of people who drink it. When someone talks about alcohol like I’m about to, I get uncomfortable. And that’s why I’m sharing this with you.

A little history:

I grew up in a home with a drug addict, alcoholic father and a pill addicted, maybe alcoholic mother. I don’t know whether to say my mother was alcoholic because I can’t say for sure that she couldn’t stop drinking or that she had the need for it like my father.

I started drinking when I was 14. First, one of my friends would steal vodka from her dad with the good old water trick. Then, as I started hanging out with more and more of the wrong crowd, I started drinking with them. I drank pretty heavily for many years.

Alcohol is how I came out of my introvert shell and made “friends”. I let loose and just had fun. Alcohol helped me to not worry about people-pleasing as much. Alcohol helped me when I was lonely. Alcohol was a friend.

I did a lot of dumb shit with alcohol, including regularly drinking and driving. My parents ALWAYS drove no matter how much they had to drink. It was normal. Eddie actually helped break me of this and I am eternally grateful.

Over the past few years, I haven’t been as carefree with alcohol. There are definitely times that I did have a ton of fun and let loose, but it became more and more frequent that something would trigger an emotional breakdown. Usually it happened a few drinks in. And it would happen when I wasn’t drinking too. It wasn’t until I stopped drinking completely for my surgery that I noticed this happening. It was like a weight had been lifted that I didn’t even know I had.

I thought it was my hormones that were causing this roller coaster of emotions. I had attributed it to my monthly cycle and the synthetic hormones from IVF completely messing me up. I’ve even been working with a doctor and taking hormones to try to regulate them.

I didn’t notice this change right away. It took me slowly allowing alcohol back into my life more consistently. I noticed it and decided to quit. I was going to quit drinking completely.

But, I missed the taste. So I would be really good some times and just imbibe other times. Then I realized that my hips started hurting again, but only after having a few drinks the day before. Every break of a week or so of not drinking cleared up the joint pain and I felt clearer emotionally.

Once I connected the joint pain and did a little research to learn there is something called inflammatory arthritis, I decided I was done. I don’t know that I have this inflammatory arthritis condition, but it could be possible and it could explain my physically reaction to alcohol.

I gave myself two more days of enjoying alcohol and then I would quit for good.

I don’t consider myself an alcoholic because I don’t need it. I just really do love the flavor. But, I can adjust my mindset on loving the flavor of wine and mixed drinks by doing exactly what I did to quit Dr. Pepper – it hurts me and if I have a drink, I will be in pain. I did the same thing when I eliminated gluten from my diet with the Celiac diagnosis.

It is about my mind control and knowing what is good and what isn’t. I’ve done it before and I’m going to do it again.

But not drinking is the easy part. The difficult part is reprogramming both myself and my family and friends to not expect me to be drinking with them at all of the functions where we all drink. It is the social aspect.

Stay tuned for Alcohol Part Two