It's amazing to me really that after more than a year of living sober I'm still learning how to do it. I shouldn't be surprised given I spent 20+ years using lovely wine as an emotional-smooth-all, obviously it's going to take longer than just 1 measly year to entrench new life strategies.
These aren't strategies for the smooth times. Like recently how I've been firing on all cylinders, fist pumping the air with my oh-so-strong-and-clever-sober-me hat on, rah rah rah-ing about how great it is to live sober.
This is the times when one or two little things happen, my amour gets chinked a little or some stress or sadness or something comes into the picture and ... suddenly I'm a little low. Not crazy bad, but low none the less. Flat. Smiling less often. Everything feeling just a bit harder, needing a bit more effort.
I'm sure this is normal but honestly this is new for me. This. is. new. for. me. Wine was my great leveler. I didn't have lows like this. I used to pride myself on always being upbeat! Not naval gazing! Not moody or hormonal! Oh great easy-going me! Wine gave me that. It took a fuck of a lot away as well but it gave me a state of same-ness that I no longer have.
It's amazing to think that drinking steadily like I did has that much affect on your life but this has been the great journey of discovery I've been on since I became sober. It's astounding to me how taking the wine away has led to so many changes including me having these low patches. They feel entirely new to me. I need new strategies to cope with them.
I was reading an article about the show Nurse Jackie and apparently the new season has the pill-popping nurse heading to rehab and becoming sober. The producer was talking about the character and her new sober journey: "You know that slippery world of having feelings now that you're sober? She's still her, but she's on a shakier footing now. She doesn't quite know how to get through the days in a way that's familiar. There will be some adjustments."
So I'm adjusting too.
What do other people do? Have shopping addictions? Drink a lot? Take pills to lighten the mind if it's really really bad? For me, exercise definitely helps and achieving things like my studies. I clean a lot and I focus on the small banal things around me that make me happy. Hence that last post about food and the weather and smiling faces. I really try to bring my focus down to the immediate good things in front of my eyes. And yesterday, well I just made myself smile more often, and that definitely helped.
Love, Mrs D xxx