Ups, Downs and All-Arounds

I was worried there for a bit, but things are starting to feel better. Life was beginning to feel really hard without alcohol. Like, really damn hard. I was feeling left out of activities because I no longer drink, worrying about meeting new people sober, and thinking that my husband would probably want to leave me because of how boring I have become since we were married, due to the lack of alcohol in my life, of course. My thoughts and reactions have been totally overblown and my paranoia has been in full effect. Last night I started thinking about why I have been feeling this way, and alas, I just passed 9 months sober last week. That significant trigger of a date plus a yucky sinus problem that felt never-ending pushed me over the edge, I think. Or triggered a PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) episode, more accurately.

Luckily yesterday, when I was beginning to think that I couldn’t take the stress and strain of it all anymore, I found some really reassuring reading about getting back to normal in sobriety and how at 9 months, it probably ain’t gonna happen. Not yet. But I am on the way there, and that makes me feel better. Just knowing and understanding that I was having a PAWS episode helped make me feel better. Like, right on. I’ve dealt with this before… I can handle this. Just ride it out and see what I can find out about myself in the process.

One thing I have learned from this rough patch is that I need to have a better plan for rough patches. Until today, I could feel myself slowly slipping down the path of relapse one negative thought at a time. I feel lucky to have found something- grace perhaps?- when I did. I was pulled up and out of my negative thinking at a crucial time. What will I do when something really bad happens? I don’t want to sit around waiting for my life to go to shit, but based on the fact that shitty, sad, scary, and bad things happen to everyone, I think I would be remiss not to make a plan for this eventuality. I am not sure what my plan is exactly, but working my atypical program on a regular basis is vital. The problem, I believe, is that relapse creeps up like depression and hits you when you are at your worst, when you’re weak and feeling less-than-able, so some of my program needs to be built into my life. Routine. Support people. Sturdy things that are there no matter what during those rough times. I need to work on structure.

I also need to remind myself to have more patience. I am thrilled to be free from alcohol for 9 months, but I am still learning about myself and my limitations. In order to stay off the booze I need to be careful with how I choose to spend my time, who I spend it with, etc. My ‘old normal’ just isn’t an option anymore, even if I feel left out of activities sometimes. I don’t get invited to bar outings anymore, which makes me feel sad and left out and bereft, but do I really want to go, anyway? Should I go? Probably not, to be honest. As much as I admire the cool sober chicks who are fine being at bars on the reg, I am just not there yet… and I might not ever be there. And that’s okay. Sobriety isn’t a one-size-fits-all kinda thing. It isn’t even a one-size-fits-all thing for me. It changes regularly.

I think I am finally-sorta-kinda-maybe beginning to understand that self-care is doing what feels right, what I can handle, and what is good for me on a day-to-day basis. I have always admired it in theory, but am pretty self-care challenged in everyday life, as much as it pains me to admit. In real life sobriety with real life things happening, there are ups, downs and all-arounds that you have to deal with. Luckily, it seems that the answer is pretty simple. Don’t drink and eventually you will be okay again. I was going to say don’t drink, do some processing, and eventually you will be okay again, but I am not sure that is accurate. Sometimes the processing just seems to happen with time. I have been dreaming crazy dreams like a madwoman the past few weeks, and I think my mind has been doing some subconscious processing… with or without me.

So, in summary, life is a mystery, but it is also amazing to be able to really and truly experience it without booze. Thanks for reading, my friends.

The January Blahs


I have been feeling kind of low the past couple of days…after feeling pretty high for a few days from successfully getting through the holidays sober. It could be anything…too much sugar from leftover cookies, PMS, winter blahs, PAWS. Who really knows? I have been irritable with my husband, tired, depressed, and pretty unmotivated. January seems like the time to get started doing lots of healthy and productive things that I don’t really feel like doing right now.

So, I have decided that I am going to give myself a break. It is frigidly cold here today, and around many parts of the U.S., so I am staying in, cooking soup, playing with my babe, and catching up on episodes of Downton Abbey while he naps. No use beating myself up for feeling this way. I am going to surrender to my crappy feelings and try to have an okay day anyway. I shall take my vitamins, drink lots of tea and water, stay away from the cookies, and have faith that tomorrow will be a better day.

Feeling PAWS-y


Ugh. Of course I have a few shit days right after I write a SUPER positive post. Oh, life. Why you gotta be so tricky? I have been feeling really low energy, a bit depressed, and just blah yesterday and today. Then a letter comes in the mail with news that feels like a blast from my past. I am still dealing with consequences of living irresponsibly for a few years, and it sucks to face it when I thought it was OVER. I am trying to deal with it. I cried a few tears, vented to my husband, and am attempting to LET GO. There is nothing I can do about it until tomorrow anyway, and it really is kind of a misunderstanding. Sorry to be vague, but the details are super boring. Anyway, it made me feel the same way I USED to feel so often: Bad About Myself. I haven’t felt that way for awhile so it was a bit shocking.

So, I found one of my favorite quotes and thought I would share it with you all. I actually have a necklace with this saying engraved on it…I never realized how fitting it would be to my future sober self. If this is the lowest part of my day, then it really isn’t all that bad. I have a lot to be grateful for. I will say a prayer and remind myself of that.