Lynda (about those of us doing the 100+ day challenge): “You are all the most incredible gang of accomplishers I have seen in years.”
I have had a weird few weeks. My heart thing acted up quite dramatically, i had an appointment with a cardiologist, got drugs, improved somewhat, then had a truly terrible day and saw him again. Now i have increased medication, and miraculously have quickly returned to 95% normal. Best news? My husband has stopped tiptoeing around like i’m about to expire. And i’m able to run again after a long break of about 4 weeks…
At no point during these past few weeks did drinking cross my mind as a ‘good idea’. Not one single time. I know that no one is ever ‘safe’ from wolfie, but i do feel like i am well protected. I can (and did) wake my husband at 5 am when i’m feeling scared. I can (and did) email sober penpals to express my strange fear that the medication was going to kill me, and that i was waking myself once a hour through the night to … well, to make sure i wasn’t dead. i know. it sounds ridiculous. i’m glad that phase is over 🙂
Being able to run again now makes me feel like my life is ‘back to normal’. You know, when something bad happens, we start to cry and we crave NORMAL. We want it to be like it was before.
Sometimes this is a good, regular, sad feeling. “I just want to feel well,” we say when we’re sick. “I just want to run and read the paper and have breakfast and be normal.”
(Thankfully, i got my wish yesterday, as Mr. Belle unexpectedly and miraculously made crepes for breakfast, never having done it before, and i stayed out of the kitchen, abandoned all ideas of hovering. he just did it. His way. And the crepes were great, full of nutmeg, and he was so fucking proud of himself).
Sometimes though, if you’re drinking, you want to feel well, you want maybe not what you had before, but a NEW normal. But you don’t know how to get there.
It’s like there’s a glass window between where you are (drinking) and where happiness, health, and nutmeg pancakes are (in the fantasy version of sober world).
Cardiac conditions require shirtless tests, boobs hanging out, electrode things stuck to you, breathing manoevers that don’t work, drugs that do, and being given your cardiologist’s private cell phone number.
Solving the sadness that comes from drinking, and wondering how to get to NORMAL, requires patience, kindness to yourself, not taking on too much at once, feeling brave, and asking for/accepting some help and support and cheerleading.
I can’t solve an electrical problem in my heart without help from mr. heart man. i trust him to help me find normal again.
And maybe you can’t figure out how to get to a new and sober NORMAL…
or maybe you haven’t been in NORMAL for so fucking long that you’ve forgotten that it even exists. if you’ve been drinking for a long time, you may believe that a sober life is unachievable to you.
Paul: “I feel like a loser … alcohol has this way of making you feel like a loser and a quitter….”
me: “key phrase here is *alcohol makes you feel like a loser and a quitter*. Alcohol MAKES you feel idiotic. Alcohol MAKES you feel broken. But you’re not. Remove the alcohol for a period of time and the grip is loosened, the ease returns, and you’ll see that all this other stuff that alcohol MAKES YOU FEEL is all made up of lies and bullshit. Many hugs from me. You’re describing the hell that, yes, lots of others describe, and yes, others have also escaped from. Booze is the thing making you feel this way. It’s not you. You are not broken.”
and so on this sober sunday morning, let me close with this.
I am well. I did no catering this week. i rested and hung out with Mr. Belle and Mr. Heart Man. I’m back to running. I’m happy. I feel like i’m on vacation. Mr. Belle has stopped looking at me like i’m about to croak though he did make me breakfast again today (this time he only made toast, so clearly he’s not as worried about me!).
I am completely 95% well. I am responsible for my own happiness and I am responsible for my own wellness. and i’m taking very good cre of me.