covid · health · palliative lightwork · social media

Brain Fog Central

Every week I write ‘blog’ in my planner. And every week I have zero idea what to write about. Even if something comes to mind, when I sit down to start typing; poof, it’s gone. The same goes for the newsletter I was going to resurrect. Blank. My mind has left the building, taking all the notes, quotes, and inspiration with it in a rolling red suitcase. And I’ve no idea where it is.

It also seems to have snuck all my energy in there, because it’s the same with to-do lists; I write them, I fully intend to achieve them…and the effort is just too much. I know being anemic contributes to that, but still, it’s as if all I can do is get through each day and hope a good night’s sleep will refresh me and kick things back into gear. So far, it’s not happening.

OH, and get this. Remember this post, “Laters, Alcohol!” (still a work in progress, sadly)? In it I wrote that I was about to start my 60th year of life, aka, turning 59 (I’ve since fixed that). I had a dr’s appointment Thursday, the type that requires a medical bracelet, and that night I was looking at the bracelet and noticed that they’d mistakenly written that I was 58. Then I looked at my birthdate, did quick match, and son of a…somehow I managed to get my own age wrong! That’s how foggy my brain is lately.

I noticed lately that I’ve been scrolling through Twitter for way too long every day, and I removed it from my phone. I don’t know if it was a subconscious attempt to kick my brain into gear with all the information, or if all that information was overwhelming my brain and contributing to the inability to think straight. I suspect a bit of both, but I’m pretty positive the overwhelm was real. I still have Instagram (on an old phone; it creeps me out that it works on my usual phone even if blocked by the firewall), but one: I don’t follow as many people there, and two: picture-posting isn’t as frequent as tweeting, so I spend a lot less time scrolling. I really enjoy accounts that show real life, and aren’t just for marketing. I’ve also removed other ‘mindless scrolling’ accounts from my phone and caught myself wondering ‘Now what do I do??” yesterday. Because somehow reading books had fallen to the wayside in favor of what’s on my devices, even Hoopla and Kindle. And I have a room full of books to read!

It’s almost as if I’ve forgotten who I am, and need to find my way back to me. Does anyone else feel that way? Removing the digital accessibility is going to take adjusting to (which, coming from me, who tries to be all about safety and using encrypted email and texting, is a bit ironic), but it’s getting warmer so I’ll be able to sit outside and read in the sun again. I can send light while outside, too, and that always makes my day.

How has the pandemic affected you? I really thought that I was doing ok, because while I stayed home most of the time, NM was very aggressive about dealing with the restrictions and masks, so I was able to go shopping and get out of the house. It felt like normal life. But it really hasn’t been, and I wonder how long it will take before we all are hit with PTSD and in what forms it will manifest?

Be safe, take care of yourself!

Much love,

Pip 🙂

©Pip Miller – March 2021

health · palliative lightwork

Hello, Spring!!!!

I love spring. It’s the brief time before the weather gets so hot here in New Mexico that sitting outside to read isn’t happening. The wind, well…the wind is spring here. It’s worth it.

It’s also the time of the liver. Time to be gentle with it and take care of it. I recently read Wheat Belly (again) and Grain Brain (wow) because I noticed certain symptoms when I went back to regular eating after doing my best to eat plant-based for a while. So it seems the perfect time to drop the wheat and see what happens. I have a friend doing the same, and we’ll support each other, yay!

Great photo, wish I knew who to credit.

The biggest news is that I’m tweaking my focus a bit more to working with animals. The horse I’ve been helping made it through the winter and the polar vortex without any problems, and I love how easily animals respond to the lightwork. They say to find your niche and I think this is mine. I still love helping people so much, but this decision feels really good.

Here’s to a wonderful spring, lots of rain (fingers crossed), and wheat-free belly! lol

Much love,

Pip

©Pip Miller – March 2021

teetotal

Laters, Alcohol!

Oh, the number of times I’ve said that in the last couple decades. And each time, I mean them, totally and completely.

My addicted brain, on the other hand, has a different agenda.

I’ve written about stopping in the past, and then ended up making the posts private or deleting them when the addiction “won”. I was mortified that I’d “failed” again, when in reality, the alcohol was just doing it’s primary job; keeping me addicted. I know I shouldn’t be ashamed of drinking; the well-worn tracks leading from “And then something would happen. Or nothing would happen.”* to drinking are deep in an imbiber’s brain, and training myself to bypass that automatic journey and create new tracks isn’t easy. Ask any drinker who swears “never again” at 3 a.m., and then is downing the drink of choice by 5 or 6 p.m., if not earlier.

Alcohol rewires our brain, and it excels at doing so.

Very soon I’ll turn 58, and begin my 59th year of life. (Excuse me while I faint at the thought of that – I’m still a teenager in my head). Maybe by writing about it more often and making the journey a part of my online presence will help, who knows. I just know I’m so over the struggle.

A lot of people do a Dry January, and then there’s the big one that I believe started it all, Dry July. There are hashtags for other months, too, but those are the only ones I can think of at the moment – how about #MocktailMarch? After the month is over, some go back to drinking, using that dry month as a sort of detox and reset, and then there are the others who decide to stay sober for good.

I’ve wanted that for so, so long. I’d make it a varying number of days or weeks, read endless books and blogs, even tried AA (not my cup of tea), and then I’d end up watching Intervention and Celebrity Rehab with a beer in hand, crying….

I vehemently dislike the concept that have 15 years under your belt (or any amount of alcohol-free days) belt, drink one beer, and suddenly you’re supposed to go back to Day 1. Not cool. That negates all the hard work done to achieve those 15 years, and by dismissing them, it just makes the person want to keep drinking because why the hell not, right? I won’t be counting days as it has screwed me up too many times before. Hence the beer in hand, crying.

I’m teetotaling up, and if you want to come along for the ride,

here’s a few things that might interest you:

There’s a plethora of sober bloggers out there, and a large number of Quit Lit books that have resulted from those blogs. I admit it, some of those books make me want to grab a glass of wine (not my go-to drink) simply because they wax on about it so much. And then there’s the occasional “I’ve been sober 7 days, lost 15 lbs, my chronic acne is completely gone, I just ran my first 5K, and I’m cooking at a Michelin chef 5-star level, too!” Bullshit. Run from those. Think fake influencer. You definitely don’t need anything that is going to make you feel like you’re not succeeding, when any day you don’t drink is a roaring success in and of itself.

-Aside: I do wish there were more than the occasional blog from someone still living with an active daily drinker. It’s not an excuse, but it’s really hard to shut off my addicted brain when there is always a beer in view. Extremely hard. It makes it very easy for that voice to convince me that it really doesn’t matter if I drink or not, so why not drink if everyone else is, ok? Add in the alcohol industry’s bombardment through the media and nearly every tv show and movie, aimed at telling and showing us how wonderful it is to drink (until you get drunk or overdo it, then you’re somehow the problem) and it’s almost a lost cause from the get-go.

The book that first gave me the most information about alcohol and its addiction is Under the Influence. An older book, but still very valid and enlightening.

The first “how to stop” I read was The Small Book, which is about AVR, something that newer authors have built on and incorporated into their own guides.

One of my favorite quit lit books is The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, and another is Between Drinks by a former professional drinker in Australia.

If you’re curious about AA, Russell Brand has a unique take on the program which he writes about in Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions. There’s also One Breathe at a Time and The 12-Step Buddhist for those with a view towards Eastern spirituality.

Belle has a 100-day challenge on her site, Tired of Thinking About Drinking, and Annie Grace has a book with a 30-day challenge, as well as other resources on her website, This Naked Mind.

I recently discovered that Twitter has a hashtag community, RecoveryPosse, filled with support and promoted books about sobriety authors. I know Instagram has a sobriety community, too.

Welcome aboard, and here’s to leaving alcohol behind!

Much love,

Pip 😎

PS: If you’ve followed me for a while and you’ve heard this all before, imagine how it feels to be in my shoes, or any other drinker struggling with this addiction. 🙏

PPS: For those wondering, no, I’ve never sent light while under the influence. That would be unethical as hell, and I respect (and am in awe of) what I do too much to mess with it like that.

PPPS: I almost didn’t post this today. I wrote it yesterday and in the middle of the night had a panic attack, wondering “what if I don’t succeed? I don’t want to be embarrassed again!”, and “Does anyone need to know this? Does anyone really care?” and took it off pre-scheduling. It won’t leave me alone, though, so here it is, for all the world to read. 😱

*Quote from 28 Days.

©Pip Miller – March 2021