It’s been about a week since I started the sobriety journey and the “try to stop giving unsolicited advice and try to free myself of trying to control other people” journey.
One thing that I’ve noticed, in doing both of these things at the same time, that my cleared mind is making way for a lot of thoughts that I had previously blocked out through substances and attempts at control. What are these thoughts? Uh, well, I’ve been having some wild-ass, vivid-ass dreams about family members and huge, blow-out arguments. I’ve also been experiencing dreams about old friends, individuals that I haven’t considered in ages. The dreams leave me waking up surprised, like, “whoa, what was that doing there?” Luckily, it was just a dream, as they say, but I can’t help but reflect on these dreams during my achingly sober waking hours.
Being out in public feels differently, too. I’m pleasantly surprised at how anxiety-free I feel, and when intrusive thoughts about controlling other people who are simply living their lives next to me (maybe a bit too loudly for my taste) pop into my mind, I’m able to gently steer my thoughts back to what I’m doing. This is way easier to do sober, and I’m pleased about that.
I admit sometimes I feel anxious when I am trying to decide what to do, how to spend my time. In these moments, I’m tempted to use. “I just want to slow down my mind,” I tell myself. “I just want to feel good,” I tell myself. And because I do care about myself, I almost cave. I’m not a parent, but I imagine this is how it feels to say no to a child who is begging to do something. It makes me feel a little bit sad, because I am forcing myself to go around facing scary thoughts and feelings all on my own, when I used to have a little help from the Doctor. My poor body does not understand this and is feeling a little bit down. My body is screaming at me,”Why, bro, why is everything feeling so raw and real?”
The days seem way, way longer this way (sober and conscious), but strangely they also seem to be moving in hi-def, high-speed. For example, I woke up at 8 AM today and went to a yoga class, which lasted an hour and a half. I was like, “What do now?” by 10:30 AM. Literally two weeks ago, I would’ve still been in bed, and when I’d actually get up, well, it would take me a long sweet time to really get moving. I was living life at a glacial pace, and in comparison it now it feels like I’m living in warp-speed. When being zonked out of my mind is no longer an option, I’ve had to choose between being bored shit-less and well, getting the fuck to a cafe and writing. Or reading. Or meal prepping. Or literally anything to keep living in the solution, as they say.
I’m practicing patience with my process. I understand that this healing journey is not meant to happen overnight. A friend mentioned that if I give this thing the time that it deserves, I will get more out of it. And I think she’s right. I remind myself that it’s okay to be, well, just okay.