(P.P.S. If you or someone you know is struggling, please pass along my info. I’d be happy to talk to anyone about anything. Also, AA is holding about 10,000 meetings every hour of every day online right now via Zoom. They are surprisingly wonderful. Message me for more info.—> This was at the bottom of my post, but felt most important, so now it’s at the top, where it should be).
So, per my previous post, last week was really hard for me. Ever since I got sober, I have had this unshakable peace settle over me. Serenity like I have never known. I just have this sense that everything is going to be OK.. It has been glorious, and I am grateful for it everyday.
But last week, anxiety crept back into my life. I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember, and alcohol was the bestest of all the best things to fix it. I loved, loved, LOVED the numbness that came from taking the first sip (and then, subsequently 234 more). It was the most amazing feeling in the world – instant relief! Last week was the first time in a long time that I craved that instant relief.
I think this “lockdown” is particularly difficult for alcoholics/addicts. Isolation is fuel for our addictive fire. The unknown is kindling for our overactive brains. And a world-wide pandemic feels like the perfect excuse to just numb out… What else am I gonna do? Wake me up when this is over, will ya?
We all have ways to cope during stressful times – many of them are unproductive, even unhealthy. Yet in times like these, I think that is OK. The problem for alcoholics is our “go-to” coping mechanism could kill us before the virus has a chance to. And that is scary and frustrating and very, very real.
I wasn’t going to drink last week. I am not going to drink today. But that means that I have to sit with the anxious feeling until it passes. I have to use the tools I’ve been given through recovery (go to a meeting – yay Zoom!, talk to another alcoholic, meditate, be of service) to find a reprieve. Those things work, but they can take time. I have all the time in the world right now, but what happens when it is Time itself that is giving you grief?
Well, I suppose I can use this time to write a little bit about my experience. I’ve wanted to be more candid about my recovery, and I’ve got minutes galore to spare right now! I’ll probably do most of my posting on my old blog thebustache.wordpress.com, if you’re interested.
Love and peace to you today, friends.
P.S. One of my biggest anxiety inducing fears right now, is running out of sparkly water. I drink soda-water like it’s going out of style… which, if my local grocer is any indication, it actually might be. :-( The shelves are always so empty. I kinda feel like markets, in addition to special hours for the immune-compromised & elderly, should have an hour a week for alcoholics/addicts where you can ONLY buy carbonated beverages. This feels essential, no? Also, @TopoChico is the best sparkly-water ever, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Steve calls it “effervescent” and he is not wrong.