Maybe because I quit drinking without a support group… Or because I felt shamed when talking to my doctor about it at my last physical… But I keep getting blindsided by this whole recovery process.
Like having C-R-A-Z-Y sugar cravings those first few days. And being cranky AF!! I didn’t anticipate that!
Or not realizing that stopping the drinking was the VERY tip of the iceberg. Once I took my primary (tried and true) coping technique away that things would start bubbling up and that I wouldn’t know exactly how to handle or process them.
That without drinking when things get overwhelming I have to see them and then grow from them. I have to learn how to see why they are a problem. What I can do differently. How I’m making things worse for myself by not wanting to face things.
And then there’s just normal family insanity…
And then… about a week ago, I got just so wore out. Out of nowhere. It’s like EVERYTHING was too hard to even contemplate. Getting out of bed was the worst… I woke up not rested, and achy… But I have this beautiful life to go out and participate in… These three humans and that dog and cat that count on me showing up… Even if things seem pointless…. The baseline functions of my life stopped feeling like I could handle them… What’s the point of cooking? I’ll just make more dishes to do and it’s not like food has a point… can’t we just survive on spoons of peanut butter??? Disposable spoons of peanut butter, at that!
Gosh, I almost cried at the prospect of having to go to a kids birthday party Saturday. The effort required to show up, smile and say hi to people… Unbelievably inconceivable.
The effort involved in mommy-ing…. O.V.E.R.W.H.E.L.M.I.N.G.
So I randomly decided to google it… and LO AND BEHOLD… It’s a legit condition linked to withdrawal. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. Who knew?!? (Well, probably people in a recovery program/group… or ones whose doctors don’t shy away from talking about it…)
And then literally, overnight, the cloud lifted.
I woke up this morning refreshed, engaged and ready to have a day just hanging out and enjoying being with my girls. I wanted to bring them for a walk and playground trip. I didn’t mind getting up first and making breakfast with the one and a half year old. I, infact, enjoyed it!!! The preschooler wanted to help make lunch… sure!!! We’re also going to make a smoothie, together, when I finish my writing. (Read: super mess. Yet, I’m still totally motivated)
And of course feeling more like myself again makes sobriety something I can approach and examine far more easily.
Because this struggle… is truly a struggle. My MO is trying to make myself look in control, normal and like I have it all together. Therefore, I don’t know how to ask for help. I don’t want to “bother” my sober friend with asking for help or sharing insights, unless I feel on that cliff’s edge. I don’t want my sobriety to impact my husband; I hate when I have to ask him once in a while just to not drink that day because that beer he’s drinking… it’s going to make me want one. I’m still not sharing being sober with the majority of my friends… Partly because I am scared it will change the friendship… because then I have to let them see that there is something I truly can not control, and keep “organized”.
I’m still learning to embrace this dichotomy. Mostly, I’m in control, I can handle anything… but when I drink… I can’t keep any control. I create situations I can’t handle…. And having to face that, in the harsh light of day… To open myself up to potential judgement… I don’t have that skill set yet.
We were at a friend’s house for an impromptu 4th of July dinner last night… The wife recently got new counter-tops that she funded with an inheritance. But the granite folks… They messed up and cut the breakfast bar area of the counters 10 inches too short. 10 inches. And it totally eliminated the space for a 4th seat at the breakfast bar. Which in a family of 4 is a big deal. Every time we’ve been over since, the wife laments this injustice… As a person, I respect her greatly because she’s very direct. She’s very straightforward, realistic, and honest. I can’t fathom her NOT having called and gotten them to make this right…Like all new granite and an apology. So when we were over there last night, I asked her husband what he thought of the situation. He said he honestly didn’t care. BUT he knew it bothered her. And he saw this as an incredible growth opportunity for her. For her to call, and fix this for herself. Because he wants her to know how capable she is. And he knows he can’t do that for her. He honestly meant it. There wasn’t an ounce of snark involved.
And it’s like a light went on in my head… That’s what this whole sobriety thing can be… A million chances to learn what I can do, and how I can get better at what I don’t do well. To find that bravery inside to expose my “problem” to the people in my life and develop that skill set.
Talk about a kismet conversation!!
So, I’m putting myself on notice. I’m going to tackle the people I’m most scared to be honest with first. I’m going to be very direct with the women in my ladies night group. I’m going to no longer pretend I still drink, but am just chosing to be the DD every time we get together. I’m just going to throw it out there, and see what sticks… and who doesn’t stick around…
Nothing ventured; nothing gained.