I have just listened to THE MOST BRILLIANT BUBBLE HOUR PODCAST!!! Sorry for yelling but this talk was EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now. I want to type the whole thing out word for word and share it here but of course I can't. Here is the link. I heartily recommend a listen - especially for those who are in longer-term recovery, but also those that are not.. it's a very honest and comforting talk that has me feeling really reassured this morning.
The discussion is largely about how long term sobriety in many ways gets harder. About how although the desire to pick up has evaporated, living can be still very challenging. And how the more aware we get and the more clarity we have about life's challenges the more acute they become - and that's not always easy.
We have phases of serious discomfort and they suck.
And the more sober time that passes for us and the more normal it becomes for us to get through a hard phase without drinking the less we can lean on feeling good about that fact. It becomes 'Of course I got through that shit without drinking - I don't do that any more. But it still sucked.' It was so reassuring to hear Anna and the hosts admit this and talk about it.
One of the hosts said she feels like she has a 'chronic waiting sensation'. Waiting for everything to be ok. Thinking 'soon everything will be ok'. And then she gets unpleasantly baffled by 'oh shit I'm uncomfortable again. Aren't I not supposed to feel this way? Because I'm sober and my life is meant to be good.'
Yes, yes and yes.. I can relate.
They said (and this I really relate to) that in the beginning it is easy for us to substitute other things for drinking but the longer we go on in recovery the less those things work. They are just keeping our addictive tendencies alive. You're still distracting yourself from yourself. So with every new level in recovery there is a new devil to confront. This is right where I am right now. New level new devil.
Its annoying because I don't want to have to keep digging deep to fix more shit about myself but the truth is I must. Sigh....
Then Anna said: 'but that's good because it gets more real and more real leads to amazing gifts'. Uncomfortable phases - while awful to get through - ended up offering serious learning that leads to a greater capacity to deal with stuff - it's always worthwhile in the end and afterwards there will be a breakthrough of sorts and shit will get easy again.
So slowly, slowly it gets easier. It's not all an uphill battle. But always there is this discomfort, facing new realities, confronting new devils.
Life is about getting comfortable with discomfort, that's all we're doing. We get better at it over time and that's what makes it easier, but that's all we're doing.
Hope this isn't too negative.
Today is a bloody marvellously stupendous day to be sober!!!
Love, Mrs D xxx