Rather than whittle on about how I'm stressed again (MA) and emotional (kid dramas) and tired (lots of solo parenting) I'm going to try instead to articulate why I think it's better to go through tough feelings sober and raw, rather than reaching for a wine or five.
I could use all the well-worn phrases like; I just feel more connected to my feelings and I feel a lot more whole and I can understand more clearly but I remember reading shit like that before I got sober and those words just washed over me. They're such well worn phrases that they've almost lost their meaning.
Christy had a great turn of phrase; "How amazing that we can sit at the table with these funky depressed moods and just have a stare down with those suckers until they get bored and leave us be."
So why is it so amazing?
Well I had a major emotional upheaval earlier this year and had to pack up my life and leave a community that was rich with love and warmth and support. It was so hard and boy did I cry. I cried and I cried and I cried. I cried so much it was ridiculous. I couldn't stop the tears. I cried saying goodbye to my sons' school teachers. I cried saying goodbye to my neighbours. I cried all over my friends. I cried doing the dishes. I cried in bed at night. I cried driving the car. I cried so much I stopped even trying not to cry and was just an openly crying sooky mess. I cried as we left and I cried as we transitioned and I kept crying even after we arrived.
And then I stopped crying, and I kept moving forward, and ... well it's all gone. Not gone like I've pushed it away but gone like I dealt with it. I didn't hide the problem like filing away a bill I didn't want to pay. I paid it and it went away. Now I feel really at peace and resolved about the whole move. Not that I don't care to have left those people any more.. but clean like I expressed to myself and the world my sadness. And unbelievably that alone made it better. Nothing changed except how I expressed my feelings but just doing that made it better.
So (I'm working this out as I write) just expressing and honoring how you feel about something, cleanly and wholly, makes it better even though you can't change the thing itself.
Now when I think back to that time of the relocation and all that emotion and all those tears I feel clean. I feel really clean about it. It's hard to explain but it feels great. Resolved. Done. It feels like I totally honored my feelings by expressing them so openly and in a way that kind of cleared them.
Ok even now it's hard to explain, this is a bit convoluted sorry.
But to try and apply this logic to general sober life now, fairly regularly I get in funky moods .. grumpy, stressed, sad (but I am a fucking full time mother of 3 demanding boys and a bloody supportive wife trying to write a difficult MA thesis sorry just had to rant there) But instead of pretending I'm not grumpy, stressed or sad (which wine consumption used to help with) I actually just let myself be grumpy and stressed or sad and ... well overall it feels much better. Much better. Cleaner. It just feels cleaner. Better.
It's hard to articulate, and once again I don't think the words are doing the feeling justice. So don't just take my word for it. Try it, you'll understand too.
Love, Mrs D xxx