Day 51

Being sober is the easy part. The decision to become sober was difficult. Finding what to do next and how to do it is the struggle. More the “how” really.

I am sober but the habits that surrounded the alcohol are still with me. Tidying and cleaning, basically housework in general is not something I excel at. Our home looks lived in. It is not a show home. It has books and comfortable couches and day beds. It has things scattered on the floor. It is not ready for visitors or guests. That’s okay for now.

I used to strive for perfection. Then I realised that it was ridiculous. I still try but not to the extent I used to do. I overdo things and need a gentle nudge to stop trying to do everything at once. I am finding more peace with dropping perfection, guilt, paranoia and regret. These things I dropped before becoming sober. Anxiety is still with me but in a much weaker form. Depression is with me too but I recognise it, accept it and have learnt to live with it better. Fear is still with me. Fear is holding me back. I know this. I recognise this. I aim to challenge myself and make the fear smaller or contained. First though comes care. I need better care before I can face fear.

The past two years I chose to face things. Facing something is scary. It is easier to postpone, to look elsewhere. It is difficult to face something but once faced it removes a brick in the wall that surrounds yourself. It allows you to find lightness, makes it easier to breathe.

Facing something allows you to move on.

Insomnia is taking a hint and edging towards her packed bags at the door. I am managing to get to sleep by about 2am. Huge improvements for me. I took a bath with Epsom salts, 2 cups worth and soaked while reading a book with tea and a nice candle. It was relaxing. I had forgotten the magnesium in Epsom salts. Magnesium sulphate, of course. One source of increasing my magnesium.

Accidentally kicked my Epsom salts glass jar in the bathroom a few weeks ago. Sober. Glass and salt everywhere. Yikes. That stopped my habit dead. I want a replacement jar for it but something unbreakable. Zip lock bag will have to suffice for now. The jar was in the corner out of the way I thought but my foot found it regardless. Clumsiness is still with me.

I made it to the gym once this week. I did mini habits twice. I am eating better. I am enjoying homemade toasted muesli and adding more fruit and vegetables to my life. My weight is going down. The scales are showing me numbers that I haven’t seen in months. A healthier me is beginning to show.

Reading is my rock. Non fiction, fiction, doesn’t really matter. My list of books to read is getting longer and my tangents are dividing as I explore further. Learning and leisure is for everyone.

Progress made. Half way through this week I got lost but I found my way back again. Onwards.

The World is Flat

My world is flat but I’m hanging on for dear life because I think I’m going to fall off. I’m anxious on the edge. One more wobble and I’ll drop away into the abyss. Liquid is oozing from the tear ducts of my eyes. I feel uneasy. I feel hungry for no reason. An insatiable appetite. This healthy new life I am sliding into does fit. It feels like a size S whereas I am an XL.

Breathe.

Nothing good will come from this. This feeling of despair. I haven’t felt like this in a while. The pink cloud has burst. Was it even there? It is raining inside and out. I know that this feeling will pass. I shouldn’t be holding on. I should be facing the rain with my head held high. Catching the droplets. Letting them run down my face mixing with my tears. The rain will pass and so will this feeling.

In this middle of this feeling of despair and hopelessness it is hard to find the door let alone an umbrella to stop the rain falling. The point is not to stop the rain falling but to wait it out. Let it pass. The sun will come out again. Be patient.

Breathe.

I’m trying to run when I should be walking and resting. Too much too fast. I’m trying to get to the finish line when there is no race to begin with. There is no one to compete with, only myself. The point is the journey. Mind the way. Mind each step.

Breathe.Who gives a f^(k? I do. I have been a faithful drinker for thirty five years. I have dedicated all these years to the God of Drink. I have been to worship most evenings. Some longer sessions other days with naught. God of Drink whispered continued worship when I was unfaithful. I have turned my back on Drink and all of it’s realm. I no longer say Hail to God of Drink. My back is turned. The bubble has burst. I see God of Drink for what it is: Poison.

It’s hard to change religions. Perhaps I am in mourning? Saying goodbye.

This new thing called Sober. It’s uncomplicated. It’s direct. It doesn’t lie. It is open. It is supportive. It’s inclusive. It’s caring. It is forgiving. It believes in me. I’m not used to all this. This loving gooey-ness. I feel like I don’t deserve all this. Stupid thought. That last one. I know it is but I think it anyway. A remnant from the past. I love Sober.

I write to understand myself. I type to understand myself. It helps a lot. There is much to write. There are thoughts to deal with. It helps to put pen to paper. It feels good to hold onto something physical. Typing on a keyboard although therapeutic at times there remains a disconnect. It’s digital. You aren’t writing the letters longhand. There are no cross outs, no ink stains, no smears. There is just delete and auto correct.

Anxiety is lifting. The world is no longer flat. The rain is clearing.

Tomorrow is going fine. I’m going to be fine. New Sober me is free.

37 days

I can feel a shift occurring. It’s a positive one. I had pizza last night. I had a tug of war with myself whether or not to get it delivered or pick it up. I decided to treat myself and get it delivered and then checked the difference in price of delivered versus pick up and my frugalness bone twitched rapidly. I promptly changed my mind and opted for pick up. I picked up the pizza and had a bonus of 2 Pokemon Stops. It got me dressed. I got to play Pokemon Go and I got pizza. Altogether a great combo. The pizza was piping hot. I didn’t have to wait anxiously for the pizza. I was delivering my own pizza.

I do find that having a pizza delivered is more stressful than picking up. Laugh all you like. But I don’t like waiting for things. Once I have ordered I watch the progress of the pizza being made and then once it is ready in store I then wait some more wondering why it hasn’t left yet. What is the traffic? Why hasn’t the GPS tracking locator app found my pizza delivery person? I have no control of the pizza after it is ordered. I actually prefer to pick up. I know what I have ordered. When I ordered it. I have time to get presentable and hop in the car and pick it up. The pizza is not sitting for a long time in traffic or waiting to be taken away. I have control. It’s anxiety free. I am occupied mentally and physically while the pizza is being made and I’m saving money at the same time. I’d call that a win-win. Wouldn’t you?

Stupid I know, but I take Pick Up over Delivery any day.

I ordered a Pepperoni.
I ate every piece.
It was hot and delicious.
I didn’t mindfully eat it.
I didn’t wait for a plate.
Sober free pizza.
A first for me.
It was sublime.

January: A Calm Start

2019, 34 days sober

After the Party writes about a calm start to the new year.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
I feel hopeful for the coming new year. I don’t have any regrets for things I didn’t get around to doing the previous year. I’m not beating myself up about it. It didn’t get done, so what! It didn’t get done.
Breathe.
Forget about it.
Breathe.

I feel calm. I feel peace. There is no guilt. There is no anxiety. I feel content.

At the same time there are dishes piled in the sink, the dining table is half covered in stuff not put away. There is dust on the surfaces. The bathroom sink plug hole needs cleaning. I am living in chaos. The bed is made and I had a bath yesterday and washed my hair. The toilet is clean. A load of washing was done yesterday. There are clean sheets on the bed. Small steps to being better organised. I am still in my pyjamas.

I used to be better organised on the surface but was chaos underneath. Now I am calm underneath and chaos on the surface.

I don’t plan to have our home perfect. I want it to look lived in. It certainly does look lived in. it looks like everyone left in a hurry and were frantically looking for things and bolted out the door.

I am not on top of the laundry pile. It is high. I have made a start. One load at a time. The house didn’t become chaotic overnight. I shouldn’t expect it to become clean and tidy overnight either.

Blame the depression. I was watching a film the other night, The Quake*, and was seeing the lead actor living through a breakdown. I saw the piles of mail unopened on the table. I saw the piles of plates in the sink. I saw the untidy room and thought that looks spookily familiar. I can see what has happened. I am through the other side but it feels hard to pick up the pieces.

I used to feel shame and embarrassment. Now I feel calm and accepting. I’m not saying I’m not bothered by the mess. I accept it as it is. It is what it is. A mess. I plan to move on from it. Improve the chaos, one dish, one T-shirt, one wipe at a time. My life is a work in progress.

I really want to get back to sketching and painting. I want to make time and space for this. This is a priority this year.

*The Wave and The Quake are Norwegian films on Netflix. Watch The Wave first. The Quake is the sequel.

Floundering

Giving up alcohol has been relatively easy. Wait. Let me finish. Not buying wine or beer has been easy. The insomnia, the anxiety and the unease is the crazy bit. 3am and I am wide awake. I have taken to writing instead of tossing and turning. I am hoping the insomnia will stop by itself. Hoping that it will last only another week. I am normally an easy sleeper. Out like a light within ten minutes. That seems so long ago now.

Abstaining from alcohol is actually the starting line, not the finish line. I have all this free time on my hands. I feel lost in knowing what to do next. I then tell myself slow down. You have been drinking for years, what makes you think the answers will fall in to place so instantly. Give yourself a break. Slowly, slowly. We all know what happens when one overdoes something. We are not repeating that again.

Constipation, insomnia, anxiety, teary moments, unease, lethargy, no joy. I thought that I would wake up with energy, no hangover, no lethargy without alcohol. This has not proven to be the case. Am I behaving like a child and sulking about what has been taken away and not focusing on what I have been given? Probably. My liver, my heart, my brain, my blood are screaming with gleeful delight. I might not be able to feel it just yet but they must be enjoying feeling cleaner. 

Healthy eating is not happening. I know what I eat and drink. My sweet tooth is still there. I am not one to jump on the scales and obsess about weight and calories. However I do have a complex of feeling overweight constantly. I do not diet. I don’t believe in them. I do want to change my lifestyle. That I believe in. Diets are fads. Lifestyle changes are that. A better change that is a good habit added to ones life.

A gym membership is what I invested in a year ago. I am going fairly regularly now. I do feel good after having walked, stretched and lifted something. It is money well spent. Considering I have done little in the way of exercise for a decade it was a necessary expense. It wasn’t quite kicking and screaming to get there but it was close. It got me off the couch.