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