Fall is right around the corner, and while I love this season, ’tis the season of listening to country music, counting crows, and feeling the feels.
Right now I am laying in my bath tub, with m&m chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of water. It was a long but rewarding day of teaching yoga, pilates, and working on email marketing/website stuff. In this moment, I am so happy to be lounging in my tub. My little serenity space away from the world.
Rewind to about 8 hours ago: my laptop that I’ve had since college, that I used to build my business on, decided to die. I’m embarrassed to admit how nuts this made me, and I realize what a privileged first world problem this is. Of course, it died right as I sat down to do office work for the day. I have serious issues in dealing with things that don’t go as planned. It’s a character flaw that I know needs work. It’s also something I know contributes highly to my desire to drink.
So then, once my dear husband saved the day and fixed my laptop, I sat there congratulating myself. I thought, “wow I didn’t even think about having a drink when I get home tonight because it was a hard day. I’ve gotten so good at this sobriety thing.”
And then I remembered. Not too long ago, a friend told me a little piece of information that brought up so many uncomfortable suppressed emotions. I was 100% caught off guard and could not believe how sad/angry/disappointed this made me. I happened to be home alone that night. I didn’t sleep one wink. I stayed up all night floating between crying, anger, and staring at the fridge thinking I could drink as much as I wanted because no one was home. There have been a couple other times like this, if I’m being honest. They all usually stem from suppressed emotions, weird flashbacks, and dreams that make me feel like I’m losing my mind.
I don’t do anything to feel this way. I wish I didn’t feel this way. But I also know it’s my responsibility to help myself find some sort of relief. So this month, back to therapy I go. Back to meetings I go. Hi I’m Phoenix and I’m a high functioning alcoholic. Hi I’m Phoenix and I have intense paranoid dreams about hypothetical situations and past happenings. Hi I’m Phoenix and I am wife, mother, I own a business and I’m really successful by societal standards. And I’m still an alcoholic. And I still have paranoid dreams. And I still do and say things I probably shouldn’t. Everyone has skeletons in their closets. Before you judge someone else’s, check to make sure yours aren’t too fragile. If you think you don’t have any, you will one day. Choose where you point your fingers wisely.
So yes, I’m pretty good at this “sobriety thing” if you want to judge that by the fact that I haven’t drank in over 8 months. But all of the reasons I drank didn’t suddenly dissolve. They’re still alive and well. I can feel them shrinking and moving on, but every now and then one of them slaps me right in the face. It’s work. Every single day it’s work. Some days I’m exhausted just from battling or processing whatever is going on in my mind. Genuinely and completely exhausted.
I don’t want or need anyone cheering for me or patting me on the back. Never having to worry about a hangover or drunk texts/crying is enough of a pat on the back for me. I’m saying this so that if you’re someone going through early sobriety or thinking about it, to know that it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s work every single day. Some days will be sweet and enjoyable. Others will make you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. Some will make you feel like a straight up lunatic. Embrace it all. Cry it out. Go to yoga. Write a 3 page long essay about that person that did you wrong. Do what you need to do and do it without apologizing.