I thought once I got through the first couple weeks of not drinking it would be relatively easy. I was already competent, I would just be more competent.
Nope. The routines that worked while drinking do not work sober.
I noticed this morning that my empty no-drinking time is evolving into my greatest sober lesson so far.
I have always written in the morning. Either journaling, making to-do lists or reading self-help books and writing notes and observations. I enjoyed tweaking my life to make it more efficient and contented. I would experience shame and stress when my to-do list got longer or I wasn’t more content after doing the self-help journaling.
In my new sober journaling I am still looking inward. Though I can barely make a to-do list, everything that needs to-doing is getting done. I am also using tools such as yoga and meditation that are more than just writing, but still achieve the going inward that writing gives me.
My life choices that I was forced to make to appear competent do not work sober. They feel miserable. Things such as having pop in the morning to counter the blood sugar drop of a hangover or getting heavy fast food on the way to work to soak up the stomach bile. Hiding behind my computer with “busy work” so I didn’t have to talk to other people or not bothering my kids when they were quiet in their rooms because I wanted the alone time.
Now, zero to-do lists at home. I have the time and energy to do the dishes and laundry without making a list in the morning. I bring a breakfast to work and eat and socialize for 10 minutes when I get there. I use a very efficient Day Planner at work and instead of hiding behind my computer, easily accomplish my work day and come home satisfied. I make my kids talk to me when they hide in their rooms. Even if they just pop their heads out to say “Don’t bug me!” I get a hug and go have a bit more alone time.
One of the mindfulness speakers recently said that she tries to NOT have the same routine every day. My brain immediately went to BUT THEN WHAT?!
Oh…..exactly! Off the routine means new experiences. Not the SAME experiences just sober but entirely new experiences. Now, at 5 1/2 Months, I get that.