The Ups and Downs of Life

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.

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13 thoughts on “The Ups and Downs of Life

  1. What a wonderful post. The thing about getting sober is that you do have to now deal with all that crap. And it’s HARD! But only in the beginning. You’re right that you eventually find and equilibrium that eventually brings a level of peace with it. You realize that without the pain there would be no joy and not only do you learn to recognize those times but you’re able to deal with them.

    You’ll find your way back to the light. You have 145 reasons to!!!

    Sherry

  2. Ups and downs don’t define us, but are a part of this rollercoaster we’re on early on in recovery. And then later in life it happens, but we tend to be more on an even keel. We weather this out, learn from each other, lean on each other and use the tools we’ve started to collect in our sobriety to bail us out when the boat takes on too much and leaks! Acceptance is key…and you sound like you have a great perspective on this πŸ™‚

    Thank you for this.

    Blessings,
    Paul

  3. I can totally relate. I’m in a funky funk right now too, which for me means I’m about to figure something out. Being sober is so cool though, because it makes me able to see that I’m just feeling funky, I’m still OK, it’s the normal swing of things. Being able to deal by actually caring for myself has been hard- it’s so opposite of typical me! And I still self sabotage but am getting better at recognizing when I really want to and just having some water instead of eating cookies. It’s hard! (and that just happened for the first time yesterday.) I read something about hibernation, and feel like sometimes that’s what I need- a little hibernating time. Feel free to feel funky but don’t wallow- that’s what I tell myself. πŸ™‚

  4. Congratulations on your 145 days!! And this blog and your reflections – awesome! I could relate to so many parts – especially the numbing of feelings (good or bad) and how learning to deal with the highs and lows by other means (self-care) is so important. I hope you give yourself a great treat today! (((HUGS)))

  5. Very nice post. I can certainly relate to the up and downs. I am not sure why, but I am not getting emails when you post. I actually came by to check in on you, b/c I hadn’t read anything new. Huh, guess it is a glitch.

    Sending you lots of well wishes, and happy days galore. – Heather

  6. love the idea that the low periods have purpose and merit – to show us that we need to take care of ourselves more RIGHT NOW. And as you say it is hardest to do that when we are feeling low. Thanks for this!

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