Since my return from the cross-country adventure, I have felt a little lost. My mood has been somber, and my temper has reared its ugly head over the last several days. The “pink cloud” of happy bliss escaped me, leaving me restless, irritable and discontent. These are feelings I am all too familiar with, although not good feelings, they are comfortable and I have wallowed in them for weeks now. It’s like slipping on an old pair of shoes that used to rub blisters on your feet, although they still hurt your feet, you wear them anyway. Like when an old song comes on the radio, it can transport your mind back in time to remember events and even the way you felt, back in the day. Some of these old emotions can be hurtful and still sting like it was yesterday, but we keep walking around in those shoes that are a size too small and turn up the sad song on the radio while we cry along. Why do we do it?
I had allowed myself to tread, stagnate in a sea of negativity, bitterness and self pity. The new useful and purposeful feelings I had recently discovered through my recovery program, seemed to be drifting farther and farther away. All I did was watch. I could not figure out why I was feeling this way or what to do about. Truth is, I was starting to enjoy just stewing in the darkness again. Although it was not healthy for me to be stuck in my own head, the familiarity was somehow comforting, like seeing an old friend. I was slowly starting to withdraw again, slowing beginning to isolate myself in a blanket of fear. Self-doubt and uselessness were creeping back in and I knew it.
Fortunately, my very wise friend and advisor noticed it too. She called me out on it, and I was grateful. After spending some time with her, examining these negative and potentially life threatening trains of thought, we figured out that I have been standing still in my recovery. After the trip, I felt I no longer had an immediate purpose to work toward. Not picking up a drink is, of course, my main purpose everyday but I had become complacent. I had been isolating myself in a comfortable bubble again, much like the dark hole I dug myself into while in active addiction. No, I wasn’t drinking yet, but it would have been inevitable, if I had not been reminded of the new tools I have picked up through this recovery process. Today, with help, I can not only recognize when I am starting to slide into the pit, I can fasten on my tool belt and work my way out. I never want to completely loose my footing and end up on rock bottom again! So, I’m pulling up my big-girl panties, strapping on the tool belt and I’m getting to work. Time to bust out of the comfort zone once more and make things happen. It is the only way I can keep moving forward and continue to grow. Standing still is no longer an option. I have to work to keep my cherished serenity and peace, pursue new levels of sobriety and go to any lengths to protect it.
This is why I love being sober. Although it is not easy, there is always something to discover and new challenges to conquer…only if I dare.