First, I made it through my time with the kids while my wife was out of town. Things went relatively smoothly, but I was tapped out by the time Saturday night rolled around and my wife returned. Since then, things have been busy with work and the kids, and I haven’t made self-care much of a priority (which explains why I completely melted down Saturday night, fled from the living room, and hid in the bedroom with some books for forty minutes until I calmed down). I also didn’t make it to any meetings last week, and I could feel their absence.
I often review my feelings and attitudes with HALT to see if I’m hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, and I’m almost always tired. Part of it is due to my introverted nature and the fact that I teach seven classes, so I’m in contact with a lot of people. And then I’m with my kids who can siphon off energy like nobody’s business. Like a lot of working parents with kids, alcoholic or not, I fall into bed around 10:00 and could sleep twelve hours instead of forcing myself up at 5:45 to start the day.
I know my strength will return because I felt good a few weeks ago, but I also need to prioritize self-care. My self-care routine is pretty basic; I nourish myself by reading, listening to or writing music, working on stories and poems, and having some time to myself. I’m a morning person, so to guarantee alone time that doesn’t include getting things ready for the day, I’d have to wake up at five or earlier…but my body just won’t let me do it. It’s okay; I need the rest. It’s hard to find alone time at night because there’s so much to do, but I have to work it in.
Like many of us in recovery, I’m looking to balance things rather than vacillating between extremes. I keep reminding myself to practice maitri toward myself, and I’m mostly successful at it. Other times, I’m not, but I have to relax into that fact, too.
The truth is that I’m on the path to recovery and further enlightenment, and that’s exactly where I need to be. I can’t rush this; I can’t force my brain to cooperate when the correct words to speak elude me any more than I can fix my balance when I get all wonky sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other. As I’ve said before, my brain is getting used to life without alcohol. I shouldn’t expect significant changes overnight, but sometimes I do
I’m also learning to sit with my pain and accept it as a teacher. My first reaction is to get rid of pain and negative feelings by pouring a drink. Now that I don’t do that, I still enter into flight mode. Who wants to be stuck in pain, whether emotional or physical? But I realize the pain is temporary and will pass, as everything in the universe is temporary and will pass…including me.
If I sound like I have it together, I don’t, but I’m trying. That’s better that what I was doing 106 days ago.