Balance

I feel much better today than I did yesterday. I wasn’t in a bad mood yesterday, per se, but I felt very unbalanced. I didn’t even want to write that post about my first meeting because absolutely no emotion was coming through in my words, even though I felt awesome about it after I went Monday night. Yesterday I didn’t feel awesome. I didn’t feel anything at all. Totally blank. Out of whack.

Something has shifted. Somewhere between my stopping last week, my crying all day about my dad on Monday and my surrender that day made apparent in my decision to go to an AA meeting, something inside me has shifted. I’m seeing the world, myself, my husband, my friends, my coworkers all in a whole new light. Most… no, actually, all of it is very positive. Even the stuff that feels “bad” right now is positive. I know this.

And yet, yesterday, I felt a whole lot of nothing. About anything. Blank. Blank is the best way I can explain it. It worried me. Luckily, my mom came to my rescue. My mom, 40-year Al-anon, knew what to say. She asked me how long it had been. When I told her “a week” she said something to the effect of, “Melissa, that’s fairly normal. You’re going through changes still. Give yourself time. Don’t worry so much.”

Thanks Mom. Once again, you remind me to be gentle with myself.

Today I felt more “like myself.” *Chuckle* Whatever that means. Not totally settled, but more serene than the previous 24 hours. I did want to drink tonight though. It surprised me since I had such a nice, peaceful day, but there it was. No reason. Then again, there never was a reason. Of course, with all the support I have available now, I knew I wouldn’t. I have women to call and a lot of love around me. Steve has stopped enabling me too, in both speech and action (most importantly, speech) so that’s another big help. He ain’t gonna let me rationalize shit any more. Not that it’s his responsibility, but I’m still grateful for it.

And now I’m done with dinner – which, if you’ve read me since I started, you know means the craving is 100 percent gone. Ah, how funny habits are. And I feel happy. Good. Balanced…

Speaking of balance, my mom and I also spoke about making time for everything in my life now that meetings are a factor. I told her I need time for myself, time to spend with the people who are important to me (which, with AA, may change, I know), time to write, time to read, time to cook. I know cooking, for those who don’t love it, must seem like a strange thing to “need” to do. But if I did nothing else right in the last few years, I definitely did right by myself in finding my passion. Cooking for me is about far more than nourishing us physically. It nourishes me mentally and spiritually. It is at its essence a form of meditation for me. So I do need it.

But I also need to find a balance and a way to fit it all in, even though some of the meetings come at a time when I would be doing some of those other things, after the workday is over. When I explained this to my mom, she did not disagree and said I will find what works for me. But she reminded me that, with all the aspects of my life I need to prioritize, my spiritual well-being should come first. That is true. And so I need to shift my focus a bit.

Tomorrow is the womens group again, this time a Big Book study. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll keep letting you all know how it goes.

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5 thoughts on “Balance

  1. In reading this over more than once, I recognize that I am still a young alcoholic in the stage of “I want to do it how I want to do it.” I recognize this. I always recognize things. I am too goddamn self-aware, I know, and “knowing” too much because of growing up in a 12-step household is, in a way, holding me back from my own experience and brutal honesty in this space.

    But this is where I'm at today. And I'm sober. And I'm content. And so, for today, it is enough. 🙂

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  2. oh lady, you're amazing! you think too much sometimes, but so do i. i think you're doing great! you know you can always call me, esp right after you get off work, if you need to talk. ❤

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  3. Thanks honey. I so appreciate that. Usually right after work, I get busy in the kitchen with food prep so that helps. I'll be doing that tonight before the meeting and then everything will just be ready to toss in the pan when I get back. See? I can do both. 😉

    And I do think too much. You know it, sister. ♥

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  4. Look at you go! You are so inspiring right now. Balance is important, though we also have to remember not to get frustrated when we can't achieve it perfectly. Balancing out a week maybe, rather than each individual day? That might prevent it from feeling impossible.

    Cooking, yes, it is so therapeutic. I totally get it.

    SO great that Steve is behind you and not enabling you through what he says. How did he finally come to that level of acceptance? Was it something in particular that you said that helped him to get it?

    I can't wait to read more of what you're discovering and learning and trying. Go you!

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  5. NT, I thought of you (and Mel) when I wrote that about the cooking. Some people have art or writing or music or needlepoint. I have cooking. You know.

    As for Steve… sadly, the only reason I think he finally “got it” was because the last couple of times I quit, the time in March and now, he became keenly aware of how bad off in my head I really was. Literally out of my mind, not at all thinking like a sane person.

    In March it was because I was sobbing having a fucking breakdown, telling him I didn't trust my own judgment any more, I didn't know what to think of any of my friendships any more, I wanted to die, I had lost all hope, I thought I was making a waste of my life… that was a terrible, terrible night.

    When I started drinking again in May, it was only because I convinced him that it would be okay. I have a very strong personality. And I am very good with words and very convincing, even to myself. “Sure, I'll drink just tonight, it'll be fine.” And he trusted me.

    When I quit this time, I was talking some of the same crazy shit I did back in March. Only this time I told him “Don't believe me when I talk about wanting alcohol again. That one night won't mean anything, that I'll be fine. Do. Not. Believe. Me. Ever.” And yesterday, at last, he didn't.

    Looking back over the last couple of years, we both realized what that word enabling really means. He did it a lot. I am not angry at him for this – though I was. It is what it is. It's happened in thousands of alcoholic relationships, we were straight of the books. And now we know better. So we are doing better. 🙂

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