Today is day 1630 of sobriety for me and this is proving an interesting time for me right now…
The hard work of early sobriety is over, not drinking is normal and therefore the pride and joy from being a non-drinker is also a bit diminished (still there but not so acute).
Nowadays I find myself having some ebbs and flows in my daily life which are quite strong.
Some phases have me feeling great! Ticking along nicely. Treating my body well. Feeding my mind in a satisfying way. Feeling good – busy, but good.
Then at other times I hit a phase which is harder work. Relentless. Gritty. Uncomfortable. And there’s a big part of me that feels almost ashamed to admit that these days aren’t filled with roses and joy.
“I’m sober I should be happy”, I think to myself.
“Better not admit I’m having a tough time or others might not want to put the drink down”, I think.
“Must act all happy and joyful all the time to encourage others to get sober”, I think.
But that’s just bringing bullshit into the equation and one thing I have a low tolerance for in sobriety is bullshit (because I was so full of it when drinking. Pretending to feel great when often I wasn’t).
So in the spirit of honesty I wrote in the Members Feed last night that I’m in an uncomfortable phase right now and am acting like a real ‘seeker’ – searching around frantically for the right author/podcast/diet/something to make me feel good.
I’m not ashamed to admit this because I think this seeking can also be seen as me ‘working my recovery’. I think we always need to be doing this.. not settling for feeling uncomfortable, always seeking good healthy ways out of it (while at the same time accepting that uncomfortable feelings are normal and will always come along).
So it’s a balance between acceptance (and the calm that comes with that) and seeking (and the activity that comes with that). Maybe ‘working your recovery’ is about maintaining that balance.
I think I’m doing that right now. Acknowledging my feelings and accepting them, not beating myself up about them and knowing they will pass.. but at the same time looking for ways to nourish my body and soul to help me through the uncomfortable phase.
Here are the ways I’m doing the latter…
* Looking for fun things that will entertain and distract me – a good novel, American Idol, Masterchef, new recipes to follow, new music to listen to…
* Looking for enriching materials that will feed my soul. Podcasts on recovery, books about mindfulness and writing and creativity, sobriety blogs.
* Physical activity. Yoga once a week, walking the dog, am considering doing a local zumba class!
* Making good food choices. Anything I am eating extremely quickly or furtively is usually not good. Neither is anything I reach for late at night (unless it’s a mandarin!), but also……
* Not beating myself up about bad choices. I am not perfect. I am a flawed human being and that is ok.. so long as I don’t ever give up completely on trying to be healthy
* And always staying honest, communicating with others in recovery, knowing that ‘this too shall pass’, and remembering that I am brave and amazing for putting down he drink in the first place!
Maybe there is a good measure of pride and joy at being a non-drinker in there still……..
Love, Mrs D xxx