Journal Entry-Happiness and 180 Days

Happiness“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”-Confucius

Yeah, I know it’s been awhile, but I’m back.

The holidays were different this year, but none the less special. My ex-husband, Roger Darling and I shared the expense of buying gifts for our four kids. We prepared dinner together. Prime rib, mashed red skin potatoes, and a wonderful salad bar. We ate heartily and laughed exuberantly. Even though our family is now fractured, there is still happiness and laughter.

We spoiled our children with good gifts like we always have. And filled their stockings with everything they could possibly want. Thank you God for the dollar store!!!

The kids drank wine and beer, but it didn’t bother me. I drank Diet Coke and quietly celebrated my own milestone of another day without a drop of alcohol. I know Roger Darling keeps track of my sobriety, which I’m kind of honored by. I will never understand how a man who’s heart I shattered could give two shits about me. Never mind, I do know. Even after everything we’ve been through, he still loves me. I may not love him the same way, but we will always have a connection. We were a family, once upon a time…

In this New Year, I celebrate that I’ve been sober for over 180 days.

Many times I’ve stood in the liquor aisle and stroked the bottles of flavored vodka. They called to me like they were my lover, but it is a siren’s song. I knew if I took a drink, I would crash into the shore of my own self-destruction again, and again, and again.

I made myself walk away from those bottles of poison, more than once. No matter how lonely, depressed or angry I got, I never drank.

I just knew the next day would be full of hope, promise and at least one reason to smile.

I’m still finding my way back to happy. It isn’t in the bottom of a vodka bottle.

It’s within me.

My heart, mind and soul are happier, sober.

I’m no Pollyanna. There are days that I can barely get out of bed. I force myself to get up and face the day. Just waking up without a hangover and going to work is blessing enough.

Happy New Year my dear friends. I hope that 2014 is a better year for all of you. May you all let go of fear, and live the lives you desire.


A sober and somewhat happy Sparkly Girl

32 thoughts on “Journal Entry-Happiness and 180 Days

  1. Happy New Year, and congratulations on 180 days (and counting, 1 day at a time) It really is remarkable what sobriety can bring along for the ride. Mental acuity, clarity of the mind, and my customary (no longer inappropriate due to inebriation) razor sharp wit are much more frequent sidekicks. Probably a good time to humble myself once again and take count of the many blessings I have been bestowed. Thank you for this post and may the New Year bring you the peace, and joy you so richly deserve.

    John (JMC)

    • Thank you for the kind comment John. I’m so proud of you and your sobriety too. Isn’t it great how much better you feel?

      The only problem I have with it, is I have to feel pain so sharply. I’m a passionate person and now I’m sober, so pain and heartbreak can wreck me. There’s nothing to do buy, feel it.

      Pain gives way to happiness. And yes, my incredible sense of humor. I’m happy to hear you have one too. Keep laughing, smiling, and sober my dear.

      Life is better, sober. Seriously, it really is!!!

      Love, Renee

      • Let me be honest. I have been sober the better part of 21 years (a few bumps in the road and a couple hard lessons re-learned along the way). The pain and heartbreak do indeed SEEM to have a sharper edge when previous response was to dull the edge with a glass bottle. But therein lies the upside as well. With a clear head, the joys and pleasures are also much more in pinpoint focus. These are the things I try to remember (but too often forget or take for granted) when times are difficult. Only the people who have struggled with the Demons that you and I both know can ever understand the strength, courage, and mental fortitude it takes to remain sober. It gets easier, but is never easy. Stay vigilant my friend, and if you ever need a shoulder to lean on or a set of ears to listen, look me up here. Those that understand need to stick together.


      • John,

        From the bottom of my heart I cherish every word and I thank you. I will be sure to keep your words and kindness in mind when I’m struggling to see the good in staying sober.

        Love and peace,


  2. Congrats on your lifestyle change. I, too, ten years ago decided I didn’t need to add that poison to my body any longer too. I sure don’t miss the hangovers or cigarettes that went with it. Quit the drinks and the smokes at the same time and am sooooo happy without it. I still have a light drink from time to time, and It always makes me feel yucky. We’re talkin like once every other year. lol Best wishes to you on your journey of your new life. Praise God!

    • Thank you for your comment. You are so sweet. I’m glad to hear that you have fought the good fight and are winning. You’re right in the fact that alcohol will make you feel shitty. I’m not willing to go back to that feeling. Living life with flourish is so much more important to me. Good that it is for you also. Take care.

      Love, Renee

  3. Hi Renee. This is a really uplifting post. Im happy for you on many levels – the fact that you have all found peace and friendship despite the difficult times, the strength you have found in yourself, the happiness too, and of course your 180 days.

    • Good to hear from you my darling RG. I was hoping that the post would be a positive one. I feel good most days. Some days are still difficult and I fight to find the happiness when I’m bawling my head off. Damn my passionate heart!

      Happy New Year to you. I hope it’s off to a magnificent start.

      Love, Renee

  4. And blessings and best wishes for a woman who had the strength to find herself! It is a hard journey but one that has found that treasure within…the ability to love yourself for exactly who you are.
    You are a beautiful lady Renee with a heart to match. You have done the hard yards, now step out and create what you want for you! That is where you are now at. It can be a little scary but after what you have been through, it’s a breeze! Go for it!
    Love and light, Mark.

    • Love and light back to you my dear man. Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean so much to me. I’m doing my very best to discover who I really am. It’s quite an eye opening experience. But one I’m ready for.

      Love, Renee

  5. Fight the good fight, isn’t that what we all want? Sometimes I wonder if the battle is really worth all the effort, but I believe that if we treat our actions by being truly driven and passionate about our purpose, then the pain that we all endure is just one of the many facets that comes with a life that is. Maybe these are just words on a screen but real life cuts deep and I know that in my present and my future, its ALL good.

    • Dear Michael,

      Yes the fight is certainly worth it. Even when I’m lying in my bed and I don’t want to get out of it. There are two things that make me lift my head up. My Meggie and my Adam Boy. No matter what kind of pain I’m in, my children are my center. My constant. I love them. Even when I don’t love myself all that much. Real life can cut us. But it can be beautiful too.

      Love, Renee

  6. Well done on your 180 days!
    The thing that annoys me is that when I walk through the supermarket to get my fizzy drinks I have to go past shelves and shelves of beer 😦
    Keep it up, and I’m glad you enjoyed Christmas!

    • I know what you mean my dear. It irritates me that alcohol is so prevalent. We have to deal with it though. We have to walk away from it, knowing that we are better when we stay away from it.

      I hope your holidays were lovely and that 2014 is your best year ever.

      Love, Renee

  7. Congrats to you and God Bless ya 🙂
    At times I want to say to world, alcohol isn’t cool isn’t the problem solver and doesn’t get away from problems for once. I wished there were ways to make your loved ones understand this poison is the problem.

    • Thanks Love. It doesn’t matter if my family understands that it’s poison to me. As long as I abstain from it and don’t pick up I’ll be okay. It isn’t easy to feel everything. But neither is recovering from a hangover or a blackout. I’d rather remember the rough times. It’s easier glean a lesson from them.

      I hope your 2014 is shaping up well.

      Love, Renee

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