Update and monastic share

***Warning: possible wine triggers.***

Hi y’all. I know it’s been a while. It’s been a busy time for me. Kids back to school (lots of paperwork and systems to arrange, and general “settling in”), new (old) country,

Not to mention setting up house and home. For the past two months, and until a few days ago, we were sleeping on mattresses on the floor — mattresses which each evening I was very very grateful for).

Also working on plans to integrate my aging dad into our household somehow, which means finally sorting through my late mother’s things (she died in January). I am massively procrastinating on that one.

A while ago I posted on my bloomwords blog that I had made it to 18 months of sustained sobriety, not counting several sips of a ceremonial glass of sparkling wine during a long-lunch going-away party that our kind friends-and-neighbours held for us just before we left France.

The going-away gathering and its ceremonial sips happened in mid-August. I reached the 18-month mark on September 27 (about 6 or 7 weeks later) with no further sips or drinks of wine.

But just a few days after that post and benchmark, my husband had a bottle of red sitting open on the living room table. He was so cheerful and relaxed. The brand of the wine was called “Open” as well. A propos nothing, and so suggestible as I tend to be, especially in my most tired moments, I decided to pour myself a glass.

Why would I do that? After all this time?

I guess because I was mentally and physically exhausted, and I was yearning to return to some kind of “normalcy” and convivial connection with the adults in my immediate physical vicinity. Normal here where I am from (and in many western places) is to have a glass of wine or beer during evening relaxation time.

I realize I have discussed this often-problematic concept of “normal” and the concept of making a “new normal” a lot on this blog. So within this blog’s scope, reverting to status quo appears to be an obvious failure.

Anyway, long story short, since that date, I have been drinking the occasional glass of wine or two in the evening. The equivalent of about 1 (750-ml) bottle of red wine per week, has been consumed by me, over the past three weeks.

I’m not proud of it, nor at this point, am I ashamed of it.

I’m sorry if this is awfully discouraging news.

I somehow feel I owe it to this blog’s honest record or storyline to document it here. So that’s what I am doing.


In other news, I subscribe to the Plum Village newsletter. Plum Village in France is the place of the Buddhist retreat I took our kids to two years ago, and went with the whole family (including resistant hubs) one year ago. Anyway, the newsletter they sent this morning had a link to a talk by the same nun who was the leader of the dharma group I was part of there.

Her name is Sister Lăng Nghiêm. I have written about her somewhere before (without mentioning her name) but now I can’t remember if it’s on one of my blogs or just in my private writings. Basically I see her as an excellent role model. She is very kindly, very quiet, and shy about public speaking, but overcomes this shyness for the greater good.

So if you need some positive inspiration, as I certainly have this past while, do check out her talk here on YouTube:

[Vid: Moral Courage & The 3 Powers / Dharma Talk by Sr Lăng Nghiêm, Oct 11, 2020]

Enjoy! I’m only partway through it; I stopped to write this post.

Also, another newsletter I subscribe to that you may already know or have heard of, is Lion’s Roar, the global Buddhist magazine. Lion’s Roar together with Tibet House US is issuing a series of talks right now called The Dalai Lama: Global Vision Summit, which you can view free online. If you are into world improvement I highly recommend signing up. It started today and the videos remain available for 48 hours.  You’ll get a free meditation sample as well as a small free e-booklet based on the Dalai Lama’s teachings. I know I sound a bit infomercially here, but it’s all free and I am not affiliated, so nothing to gain other than the hope of furthering world peace.

Here it is; too good not to share:


I haven’t watched the vids (which started just today) yet myself, due to time constraints mostly, but I did read the free e-book, and a couple of other recent Lion’s Roar articles that were very, very uplifting.


I’ll try to keep this blog updated as to how it goes with my having reverted to non-sustained-sobriety status quo.

My hope is this: Maybe a long (18-month) “wine reset” was all I needed. Maybe I can do this moderation thing.

I will say though that I am already realizing that one more glass of wine doesn’t make the first glass of wine better. In other words, I’ve been happier on the evenings that I’ve had one glass of wine only, rather than two, or gods forbid, three. And I’ll also say that on one evening when I had three, I was not really happier at all, than I was before I’d started. Quite the opposite.

So, long story short, we don’t need wine to make us happy.

But connecting with immediate beloved family and friends, *if* it can be done with zero to moderate alcohol intake, is rewarding. But we already knew that, didn’t we. The question is, can we moderate successfully. If not, the only reasonable solution is to abstain completely.

I’ll see how it goes.

Lots of love

xoxo n/stl/ltp

p.s. Just realizing, really… I have felt very disconnected from the Tree. I’m grateful to connect with old friends and family in Canada, but I miss the connections I’d built and made and had been lucky enough to experience while in France. The landscape had become a part of me… but somehow I can’t easily find that part of me, here, yet… The west coast landscape is a completely different animal. It’s much wilder, more somber, untamed, raw, original-feeling, and yet altogether *less* free, somehow… the latter is partly due to increasing Covid constrictions, though, of course. And though we are still relatively rural, there are more people in this area than where we were before in France. There is a bit less privacy, less quiet, more thought-noise. I am attempting to regain healthier coping strategies.

Thanks so much for reading. Hope you are well.


30 thoughts on “Update and monastic share

  1. Hey Nadine! Good to see you after a long time. I didn’t know you had relocated to Canada!
    As far as your sobriety is concerned, all I can say is, do what feels good and be good to yourself. ❤️
    Take care and hope to see you in the blogosphere more often. Hugs, my dear. 🌷
    Will watch the videos later. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Nadine! So great to see a post from you! Only you know what the best thing is for you and wine. It doesn’t sound like it is destructive now. If you can moderate, I say fantastic! Either way, I’m always happy to hear from you. I also did not know you had gone back to Canada. Sending strength with the sorting of your mom’s things. That’s a task I’m not looking forward to when it is my turn. Take good care of yourself! Sending hugs! 🤗❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Ms. New… thank you, so much for your support. I don’t know how it will pan out but we’ll see. Thanks for the wishes of strength… I will need that… really difficult to make decisions and ultimately let go of a lifetime collected. Thanks again and hugs gratefully accepted and returned. 😚🤗💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nadineeeeeeeeee, so very happy to hear from you❤️🤗😊. Seems like life has definitely been an interesting ride lately especially with moving, your dad moving in, and the job of sorting through your mom’s item. That my friend is a lot. You be you, do you, and know I’m here and will always support you unconditionally. Try to take some time for you if possible to bond with your surroundings. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. I’m a happy camper hearing from you😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dwiiiiiight…. so happy to see you here. Very very grateful. Always love your loving and supportive energy, since the beginning, and can’t tell you how grateful I am for it. You’re right about the taking time to bond with the surroundings… need to do this more. Thank you for always spreading the word of kindness!!! Lots of love to you. 💛💛🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Nadine!
    I am so happy to hear from you!
    We are just starting getting my 95 yr old mom from Idaho to Minnesota, then finding an assisted living place for her here.
    Lots of adjustments to be sure!
    I just want to support you in whatever you do.
    Much Love,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy, sober warrioress supreme… thank you. So much. Truly!! It’s really kind of you. Appreciate your non-judgemental support so much. Wow your mom is 95!! That is amazing. Awesome that she will be closer to you. Lots of love to you too. Hugs xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly I hear you (and that voice) completely Jeff. Will definitely be interesting. It’s the voice more than anything isn’t it! Some people just don’t have that voice. Some of us do. Or we develop it more and more as time goes on. Yes we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for the welcoming words. :))

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hey Nadine. Soooooooo happy to read a post from you again. Boy you have had tons on! I’m delighted you posted and whatever you decide you have my support and love! As Jeff said, I have also considered whether I could just have one or two glasses of wine occasionally but it is the constant battle in my head that brings. I just can’t face all that bargaining with myself again. Hope it works out for you though. I think it does for some of us. Look after yourself with all you have going on xxx 💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Echoing the above responses- so happy to hear from you again! Sounds like so much going on with you and that was a great post to catch us all up with. Two posts today so far that are very relatable for me. After 15 months of complete sobriety i began experimenting- there was some good , some bad, some ugly..but at this point (21 months into recovery) i believe it has all been worth the “testing grounds”. I have found a good happy medium( which was extra tough given the pandemic stuff)- for me this pretty much means 90% alcohol free- if that makes sense. Every 3 weeks or so, i allow myself ONE night of indulgence…knowing i’ll pay for it the next day, but no longer being ashamed or feeling guilty because it’s not a regular thing and i have zero problems abstaining the rest of the time. Maybe doesn’t work for everyone ( i tried other moderation techniques but found they didn’t work for me personally). Anyway- congrats and hugs…post again soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Lovie. Thanks so much for this… it helps a lot to hear others experiences and I truly appreciate it. So far it’s going well for me also. It definitely helped to connect with you all again. I guess I was ready to make sure I kept on track. Overall I don’t find wine that satisfying. It’s an old craving for a particular taste and an old habit of connecting. But the taste soon wears thin, even with few negative results. I suppose that is the progress I’ve made here showing its benefits. Very big thanks to you (and the rest of this crew!), again. :)) 💖

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Great to hear from you, Nadine. Wishing you the best with all you have going on. Sending love and support! 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good to hear from you Nadine. Your post just reinforces the truth that each of us has our own way of navigating the alcohol/sobriety conumdrum. There is no template we all can follow , it’s choices and intuitions. Hope your path works out for you and good to hear your voice again. Jim X

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jim, like the others, I am so very grateful to see you here. It’s a huge help to me to feel your support and I appreciate it so much. “There is no template we all can follow, it’s choices and intuitions” — beautifully said and very true. Thank you!! :)) xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi NAdiiiine! It’s so good to hear from you 🙂 I must confess I also have bouts of curiosity about my ability to moderate after a 1 year sobriety reset, but so far, I havent’ had/create the opportunity to test out those hypotheses, and staying sober for now suits me just fine. I’ve never been to plum village but now that I’m in France again I might try and do a retreat there, maybe after covid. Urgh. Love Lion’s Roar 🙂 I found the Shambhala center here in the town of Montpellier, and I go twice a week. It’s so nice to meditate with other people. Miss you and sending gigantic hugs to you in Canada ❤ xxxxx Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much lovely Anne. So far it’s going well for me but especially since I reconnected here… I don’t have even that one glass most nights since honestly the payoff isn’t great enough to warrant the expense, the calories and sometimes the craving for one more. Law of diminishing returns, something like that. And yes Plum village was wonderful (though also challenging in some ways, with kids), but closed this past summer due to covid precautions so we didn’t go… definitely recommend checking it out if you get a chance though. Amazing people. :)) 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey youuuuuuuuu!!!! So great to hear from you !! 😁😁😁😁😁
    Sounds like things are busy but going well for you! I’m always here to support you no matter what! ❤️ I think it’s great you have found moderation going well. A big long reset like you did sure changes ones thinking of alcohol! I’m doing good here with a long stretch of no alcohol but I, kind of like Lovie tend to have a night here and there where I do end up drinking and I used to feel so bad about that but I am starting not to anymore. Never before you all and WordPress could I have gone long periods without alcohol! I decided to be proud of myself instead of constantly beating myself up. Hope you get some time for yourself with all you have going on currently. I have SUPER DUPER missed you!!! 😘😘😘 Hope to hear again from you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwwww Jackie I love your response as always!!! So encouraging and uplifting and I love the attitude, yes we are all different and whatever way feels best for us and our sitch is ultimately the right one. Thank you!!!! So much for your beautiful generous spirit here and I know I could have gone as long as I did without yours and others’ help. You rock. Big hugs 💛💖❤️🥰🙏🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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