Day 14 – subtly shifting

I can’t believe it’s day 14 already. I’ve been busy at work as we’re short staffed due to sickness. Then I got a mysterious pain in my side. It wasn’t quite bad enough to be called severe but it did have me on painkillers and scrunched up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself for a couple of days. It has now (thankfully) mysteriously disappeared again. If I’d still been drinking I’d have been paranoid about my liver.

I’m still processing the shifts that have started happening since that dark/light day 2 weeks ago. I’ve been thinking a lot about surrender and the times in my life I’ve found peace through it. It’s brought up a lot of interesting, and funny memories. More about those later.

The feeling I have now reminds me a lot of the feeling I had when I finally let myself move on from my old career. I had the degree, the years of experience, the important sounding job titles, the fat pay, the excessive after-work socialising blah blah etc. My ego ran a mile with it all and told me that my life was good. Friends, family and colleagues all agreed. From the outside it looked that way and ticked the boxes that society told me I was supposed to tick. On the inside I was empty, lonely, unfulfilled, feeling like I’d hugely missed the point somewhere. I was drinking heavily and daily to not to have to feel or face any of it.

I ended up backing myself into a corner where I’d drifted away from from the career but not let go of the associated beliefs and baggage that had become my false identity. I wasn’t working and just subsisted in confusion for ages. I couldn’t go back but I had so many confused beliefs about myself that were getting in the way of me moving on and applying for jobs that were ‘beneath’ me. People told me I was crazy, deluded and ungrateful to even consider dropping out.

Eventually I found the sense and strength to listen to myself. I was also broke. I have a vivid memory of the day I first applied for a retail job. I’d dropped the application form off in person and was driving home. It was a sunny autumn day and whilst waiting at a red light I gazed at a bright blue sky through a blazing display of leaves. I suddenly had a huge rush of euphoric relief and a manic grin. I could almost hear the ‘thunk’ of heavy baggage hitting the road as I drove away and left it behind. It was one of those moments that imprints like a flash photo on your brain.

Although I haven’t had any euphoric rushes this time I do feel that familiar sense of lightness. Maybe I managed to drop off the first few bits of booze baggage? I know the dangers of getting overconfident though and can see the huge suitcases still waiting to be unpacked – one step at a time.

At the moment I have no desire to drink at all. Over the last couple of weeks I have had occasional moments of my red flag restlessness. What has been interesting and encouraging is that my mind hasn’t retreated towards thoughts of drinking during these moments. It has instead stepped up to look for more constructive ‘what can I do about this’ solutions. I think that’s progress πŸ™‚

When I’m not working I’m alternating between lazy indulgent sofa sessions of reading, gaming or snoozing and more constructive stuff. I’m currently doing a couple of free online courses. One is in photography and one is in philosophy and critical thinking. My mood is subtly shifting toward lightness, hope, brightness, gratitude and a gentle excitement about what the future could bring. Bring it on! πŸ˜€

I hope everybody has had a good sober week and is looking forward to the weekend. Hugs to anybody struggling at the moment x

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12 thoughts on “Day 14 – subtly shifting

  1. soberisland February 10, 2017 / 3:39 am

    You are getting your mojo back. I love your writing. It’s good stuff. And I am proud of you hanging in here.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hurrahforcoffee February 10, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    I feel lighter too so I know what you mean. Also enormous relief of not having to fight that fight anymore. well done on 14 days. xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Untipsyteacher February 10, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    Dear TOTW,
    Happy Day 14!
    You are taking care of yourself!
    Just do the next right thing, and all will be well!
    You gave me an idea about taking an on-line photography class.
    I’d have to buy a real camera…do you have one?
    All I use is my cell phone.
    xo
    wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater February 11, 2017 / 2:08 am

      Hi Wendy, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I have a bridge camera, it’s part-way between a point and shoot (or camera phone) and a full digital SLR. I only ever use it on auto and I’ve been meaning to improve this for a long time πŸ™‚ x

      Like

  4. Paul S February 11, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    Fantastic on the 14 days, and I have to say, I LOVED the sound of the baggage hitting the ground there. I almost walked away from my career, after drowning it with erratic behaviour and poor performance. I tried to get a job as a mail carrier and in a warehouse. I didn’t hear back from anyone. Then two months into my sobriety, I found a job that 5 1/2 years later, I still have. And it’s in my profession. The difference is that I have realistic expectations, and know that it’s not the be all end all for me. I too have those yearnings for other things to do!

    Great post

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater February 12, 2017 / 10:39 am

      Thank you Paul! It sounds like things worked out perfectly for you job-wise. Yes, managing expectations is so important, I try to remember that when thinking about possible future career options too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Elizabeth February 12, 2017 / 12:55 am

    I am so low at the moment because I need to leave a very negative situation in retail (management) and can’t see how I can start over in retail (and support myself) and work my way back up – without working in a store without a heart i.e. Walmart, etc. My faith is definitely failing the test at the moment as any time off I have I just want to stay couch ridden. Thank you for your inspiration my friend. Congratulations on 14! Love those free online classes- are the ones you are looking at through edx.org?

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater February 12, 2017 / 10:58 am

      Hi Elizabeth. That sounds like a tough situation at work. Could you not move to another store at management level? I agree that the pay at ground level is not so good – I get an antisocial hours premium so it’s actually much better than most other options I could have chosen but I do have to live simply to be happy on it. It’s horrible when you lose your motivation at work isn’t it 😦 I’ve had jobs where I wanted to throw up when I got close to work I hated it that much. I hope you can get something sorted out asap and move forwards. The courses were through edx – I love that site, and the options that technology gives us πŸ™‚ x

      Liked by 1 person

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