Life is a seesaw

It’s been a real rollercoaster ride of ups and downs since I last posted. I’m still sober though, on day 50 now.

I had a very hard time sleeping for a few days, I worked 4 nights in a row whilst my neighbours were fitting a kitchen. Imagine you’ve just settled down in bed at 11pm, tired and ready to sleep and then then house starts vibrating and shaking with heavy drilling and hammering. Of course, that would be illegal in most places and just wouldn’t happen. Flip it 12 hours and there’s nothing you can do. It’s hell for nightshifters. It’s been a long time since I remember feeling that tired, run-down and desperate. It passed though, it always passes. Their work is finished and I’m off work for a week now so all is good again. I’m currently spending 10-12 hours in bed each night to make up for it.

I’ve also had a slightly frightening reminder about a different type of drinking trigger that affects me – being over excited about something. When I read about other people’s triggers or think about my own I tend to find that they are generally negative events such as sadness, boredom, feeling left out socially, depression or stress. For me there’s also definitely a flip side.

It’s a side of me I’ve not experienced for a long time which is in itself a mixture of good and bad. I remember many times when I’ve been gripped by the creative urge and got swept up into a hyper excited and hyperactive state. It’s the sort of feeling that makes you jump out of bed and work day and night on something. It’s amazing but it can also be frightening. I’ve had many occasions where I’ve wondered whether I was tipping over the edge into a manic state, whether I could be affected by bipolar disorder. I have sometimes ended up looking like a sugar-rushing toddler, fidgeting, pacing around, talking to myself. The end point of these hyperactive creative sessions has usually involved dousing down the feeling with large amounts of wine so I can ‘come down’ and finally sleep.

I also remember drinking heavily after finding out I’d got a job I really wanted, or after scoring a hefty freelance contract, or having met an exciting new man. These are all positive, exciting things so why did they usually result in destructive levels of drinking?

To sum it up, I think it’s just another version of being overwhelmed by strong feelings. Sometimes even extremely good feelings can get too much. For example, an orgasm feels wonderful in the moment but imagine if you got stuck in that feeling 24/7; you’d quickly become non-functioning in your daily life. It probably wouldn’t be great medically either. You can definitely have too much of a good thing.

I’m feeling reconnected to that creative ‘fire’ at the moment. It’s one of the things that got drowned out by my heavy drinking. I’m very happy that it’s back. It’s an important part of me that I don’t want to lose. Like any kind of fire I know I need to handle it with care though. It brought along the strongest craving to drink I’ve had in the last 50 days, probably the only strong craving in fact. I have been having mild ‘restless’ sort of cravings but they are few and far between and fairly easy to dismiss. Those cravings feel like they’re whispering from a distance now rather than shouting in my ear. Those cravings have become like hapless salesmen trying to sell me something crap that I don’t want. The manic high cravings are somewhat tougher. They are going to need more of my sober tools to deal with.

So although I’d say that generally, things are good at the moment, I do feel like I’m walking around on a seesaw trying to find a new balance point. Things in my life feel like they are changing and growing and it can be uncomfortable at times. I’d rather this though than continuing to tread water in a deep pool of wine.

It feels odd to be up and about on a Saturday with a full weekend stretching out before me. I’m usually just going to bed now. My partner is away visiting family so I have the house to myself to just potter. I have a few simple things in mind to do today – some drawing, gardening, a walk, some cooking, a sauna and a hot bath maybe.

I hope everybody else has a good sober weekend too. Keep going, keep sharing your journeys x

 

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17 thoughts on “Life is a seesaw

  1. Elizabeth March 18, 2017 / 11:43 am

    The “highs” were/are definitely my most dangerous times- it’s exactly not knowing to do with the overwhelm of energy. Yes, step carefully here. Find ways to ground that energy. Making sure you get at least 5 hours good sleep time is important because the lack of sleep releases serotonin (I think that’s the one) which can send you higher. Enjoy that creativity! ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater March 20, 2017 / 2:18 am

      It’s really interesting that other people have had similar experiences. I’m trying hard with the sleeping thing, sleep helps me so much. Take care 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mikeykjr March 18, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    I know exactly where you are at right now. I too am restless and attempting to be creative. Last week, due to Storm Stella, I wasn’t able to get a full nights rest because I was working crazy hours. Now I’m home patiently waiting for a replacement phone. I need a phone to call the bank because my IRS refund was issued but not posted to my bank. Therefore, I didn’t get much sleep last night. Hopefully I’ll find time today to take a nap because I definitely need one!

    In the meantime, I’m teaching myself more advanced PHP and MySQL which can be frustrating at times. The e-books can be outdated, so I have to search for solutions which don’t always work at the moment. Programming is something I miss very much but don’t have time to dabble in except weekends, which are very rare for me.

    Honestly, I need to sit back and relax. I mean really enjoy this precious weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater March 20, 2017 / 2:21 am

      I hope you’ve managed some decent sleeping and learning time over the weekend. Thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. soberisland March 18, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    I get that way too when things are going well and seem to be exciting then I want to drink. Congrats on day 50.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. nomore1117 March 18, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Congrats on Day 50!! I have also found excitement and highs in general have made me want to drink. Maybe moreso than lows. I’ve always been creatively high strung though. When I’m in a project, I can’t stop doing or thinking about it.
    Same thing with excitement over a conversation. I can make it through a lunch or dinner without a craving, but upon leaving I have this huge craving to drink because it went well, or was really fun and I talked a lot. Not sure why, I guess it’s part of that high feeling that sparks cravings.

    The good thing is that you’re recognizing this as a potential problem that you can counter with other things that give you a sense of release from the craving. For me it’s usually whatever my replacement drink is at the time. Right now: coffee. And a hot bath.

    Good luck and keep on creating!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater March 20, 2017 / 2:27 am

      Yes that all sounds so similar. Sparkling water and a hot bath is my go to combo at the moment. I hope you’re doing well 🙂 x

      Like

  5. ainsobriety March 18, 2017 / 11:57 pm

    Me too. I started MANY projects in. Flurry of activity that were never finished.
    Learning to be ok with doing nothing continues to be freeing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater March 20, 2017 / 2:33 am

      I’m bad for having multiple half-read books on the go that don’t get finished. I’m pretty good at doing nothing too though, I spent most of the weekend lounging on the sofa, I had an annoying headache that stopped all productivity dead. I hope you had a good weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paul S March 19, 2017 / 9:40 am

    I am the same – my increased craving for drinking usually came when things were going WELL. Sort of like what you said – overwhelming emotions. Celebration. If things are going well on their own, how good would it feel if I had a few drinks in me? I want to crank up those good feeling big time. If a little is good, then a lot more should be fan-f*cking-tastic, yeah? ha ha.

    These days, I am glad to feel things without any numbing or elevating agents. Keep it real 😉

    Congrats on your 50 days!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater March 20, 2017 / 8:59 am

      Thank you Paul. Yeah, that ‘a lot more will be a lot better’ thing – oops fail! I’m finding it fascinating how many people recognise what I mean. Yet again I’m reminded I’m not alone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Untipsyteacher March 20, 2017 / 3:08 am

    Happy 50 days!!
    Yes, I could drink when I was happy, sad, worried, bored…any reason.
    I also know about the manic state of which you speak.
    I also had times like that, and alcohol went hand in hand with that…sometimes the drinking helped fueled it.
    Crazy stuff!
    I hope your headache is better!
    xo
    Wendy

    Like

    • tiredoftreadingwater March 20, 2017 / 9:16 am

      Thank you Wendy 🙂 Yup, alcohol, the universal condiment for some of us 😦 I feel like I’m finally coming out from under the headache today – I’m weaning off coffee which is probably what caused it. Hugs x

      Like

  8. Hurrahforcoffee March 21, 2017 / 7:41 am

    I can very much relate to this. With most disorders there is a spectrum, I was diagnosed with bipolar (haven’t been on meds for years) the manic episodes don’t come around as often as they used to but when they do it sort of scares me. It feels like the car is speeding up and you have no breaks. It’s such an intense surge of energy like you want to jump out of your skin.I think I used to drink to help calm it. These days I feel most comfortable around the neutral and content mark. (I used to think that was really boring) when I can feel myself tipping towards an 8 either way, depression or excitement I am acutely aware of it and I try pull it back. Both sides are big drinking triggers. I can’t imagine how tough it must be to do night shifts. I am glad your creativity is back. I lost mine too for so many years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater March 22, 2017 / 9:30 am

      There’s definitely some magic hidden in that easily dismissed calm middle ground. Thanks for making me feel less alone x

      Liked by 1 person

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