There are always going to be highs and lows in life.
Fact: I used to bypass them with alcohol.
It didn’t matter whether I felt good or bad- drinking would make me feel comfortably numb and a kind of spaced-out happy. I skipped the hard work that goes into creating a mostly-happy life by drinking to change my feelings…no matter what the reality of the situation.
Fast forward to now. I am 145 or so days sober, and I feel highs and lows on a regular basis. My body does its thing. I don’t feel happy all the time. I don’t even know that it is possible to feel happy all the time, unless you A) work really hard at creating an enlightened spiritual mindset or B) use a substance to change the way you feel. Option B doesn’t work for me and I have a really long way to go with Option A, so I am going to have to live with the fact that I shall experience cycles of highs, lows, ups, and downs in my life.
I definitely like being happy more than angry or sad, but that doesn’t mean that those feelings….my low periods…don’t have purpose and merit. They totally do! They create balance in my life. As I continue to be sober and work on myself, there will be more and more equilibrium present. It will be easier to let go of the bad feelings to make room for happiness. That takes time, though! I have a lot of funky shit to work out from years of stuffing my feelings down with booze.
I have noticed some signs that I am in a funk, in my thought patterns. Once I notice these thoughts I KNOW that something is going on. I start worrying much more about what others are thinking about me. I start suspecting that my friends and family are thinking bad things about me. I start “shoulding” myself about small stuff, big stuff, and everything in between. An offhand comment can make me feel small and unloved. I get totally down on my appearance.
My mind basically runs away with me.
These are all signs that I am feeling low and need an immediate prescription for self-care. I am realizing that I am pretty bad at caring for myself sometimes, especially when it really matters! Like when I feel lonely, small, and unloved. It is easier to do nice things for myself during the happy “high” times.
I also have to ignore my mind during these time periods. My thoughts are my enemy and can make me do things based upon fear and insecurity…things that I really don’t want to do! Weird/bad/unhealthy things. Like fight with loved ones, invade someone else’s privacy, or pick up a drink.
So, for me, self-care that lets me lose myself for awhile is good. Interesting or funny television shows or movies, doing things with my hands, creative projects, cleaning, reading, baths, cooking, yoga, and naps. Hugs, too! Never forget the power of a good hug.
I am still not through my low period, but I am starting to see the light peeking from behind the clouds. I have also been fairly productive and not caused any relationship or life problems because of my stinkin’ thought patterns.
Thanks for all of the nice support. You guys are the best.