Bursting out all over
In the process of being sober and dealing with life without alcohol, I now realize why there are groups where you can go to meetings. Your body and mind go through changes that are very much like nothing you have ever experienced prior. I don’t go to meetings, and I don’t condone being like myself if you are someone who has quit. I think that they could be quite resourceful for someone who is going through all the stages of quitting and doesn’t know what they are.
I do however have a few resources that I reach out to in moments when I don’t understand how I am feeling. I have a few long time recovered alcoholic friends who are a good help for those long term thoughts and feelings, and then I have a friend who is going through the stages just a few months ahead of me, that is an exceptional source of incite on what I am thinking and feeling.
My most recent battle has been primarily an internal one. I have had a few things happen in the past couple of months that trigger some anger and frustration. Anger and frustration are not unhealthy emotions to feel, but if held on to they can be intensely damaging. I know this from experience, anger is the true seed that birthed my alcoholic need.
For a quick idea of the things I am dealing with, I’ll cover my last few stressors. A few months ago a relationship I was in that was seemingly good, came to a rather abrupt ending. We were both very emotionally involved and as it came to a close it really hurt for both of us. He has handled it very poorly and has not let go. I was forced to block his phone number yesterday because emotionally he was beating me down. He was calling me things like pathetic and a basket case and unstable, and really on the inside I was feeling that ending it was one of the most stable decisions I have made in a long time. While I wanted to lash out about how he was treating me, I would tell him I didn’t appreciate it only to get another round of it a few hours or a day later. I was coping with a combination of frustration and anger, because a man who loves you or claims to, should never talk to you in such a way, nor you them. I kept holding on to the idea that he might shed the anger and return to that knight in shining armor figure he once was, and that caused a lot of personal frustration in myself, because for two months I have held on to, and taken abuse from, someone who is never going to change. He could change but lets be realistic, he’d have to admit he has an issue and get help with it. He, of course, in his eyes, doesn’t have an issue and isn’t abusive, as the name calling continued to flow from his mouth, and as I continued to take it and take it and take it.
With that came added responsibility at work. I work very hard to take care of the things needed of me at work, and our senior accountant has left the company with no intention of ever returning. I have asked to be promoted to her position and was given a raise to compensate me for the extra work I have taken on. I’m thankful for that, but I was also asked to apply for her position, which I have, and no forward progress is being made to fill said position. Her position pays quite a bit more than mine, the work load is already on my shoulders and I am so far not being considered with other candidates for her position while I continue to function in it in the interim. There is a level of frustration that goes along with the feeling that you aren’t what your company wants somehow for the position, and yet, you are forced to take the responsibility for said position and carry it, until they figure out if they are going to hire someone, or worse, not hire someone, and you are just grandfathered into it without the compensation or title that would go along with. I also love that, if or when they fill the position, it will be my responsibility to train said new boss. All the way around a very hard thing to accept.
I have also had some shifts at home, mostly for the better. I had to get a roommate who was a heavy drinker out of my house (given my own recovery it was very needed). In turn, he left the room he was staying in just disgusting, and there is a level of expectation of respect you just assume would come from being a 53 year old man, leaving something in decent shape. I was so disgusted and appalled by the way the room was left. You would think it was a 21 year old party room with the squalor left behind. Deep sigh of relief and trying to let that go. It is however a touch harder with other added stressors in my life.
This past week a stalker who has been pursuing me, and someone I thought I had taken my lead on leaving me home, located where I work and called in to my work to speak to me the other day. I had asked him two months prior to leave me along because he was scaring me. He would call my phone from his phone and then when I wouldn’t answer he would leave angry voice mails and send angry text messages. He would then borrow other phones and call from other numbers I didn’t know. He would make new unknown profiles on social media and dating outlets to add me, or message me and as I blocked them, he would make another. For two months things have been fairly quiet and I hadn’t felt like he was an issue any longer, then suddenly the other morning my receptionist calls and says I have a caller on hold. My stomach knotted when I realized who it was, and my office mate said that I went white as a sheet. He is a contractor and I work for a flooring company, so his big plan was to start doing business with my company so I could basically be forced to deal with him and see what a great guy he was. When I was quiet on the phone he had asked if I was upset that he had called. Forever honest I told him yes, and that I felt it was completely inappropriate, and he started yelling at me. I hung up the phone while he yelled and he proceeded to call back and yell at my receptionist who wouldn’t let him back through to myself or management. In talking to police and filing a report I found out the name he uses is an alias, and his real name brings up a felony conviction of rape and a sex offender registration status. To say the least, I’m very concerned for my kids, my household, and myself.
Last big stressor, I broke a molar, it hurts like hell, I got it pulled but I guess I was quite irritable from that… enough said.
So with all of these things, I have notice a couple of things happening in my body…. first… I could feel my blood pressure was higher than normal. Not miserable scary high, but feeling it in my chest and neck high. Not okay, needed to decompress for that. The more interesting thing, and actually kind of unnerving thing, was this crazy spastic energy that was bouncing inside my body. Like an intensive anxiety, and inner human in me that just wanted to scream and rage out. This isn’t a feeling I am used to, and I am pretty decent at controlling my anger and emotions and it really hit me. I was keeping and managed to keep a cap on it, but if any of you have ever seen The Flash (yes I just went Marvel comic book TV show nerd on you), Barry Allen starts having these intensive shaking episodes where he can’t control that energy his body is needing to spend, and my body was feeling like that, inside my skin! I of course did what any normal person would do, I did my best not to boil over and suppressed it. I tried to get the stressors in my life under a little better control. I blocked the ex boyfriend so I wasn’t being constantly berated, I filed for a stalking order against crazy stalker guy, and got that tooth pulled, oh and the roommate is now gone, but relief. Yet that feeling, while more mellow was still there under my skin.
I spoke to my friend who is more recently a recovering alcoholic and he expressed using a punching bag to get out his moments like this. He also did some mind clearing on his motorcycle. I personally meditate but he said I should take on some physical activity to spend that pent up energy, even if it wasn’t an aggressive activity, if it spent energy that would be what I needed to work things out.
One of my biggest frustrations with quitting drinking is not feeling normal anymore. The truth is, I’m not the normal I once knew, and what I know to be normal now has to be recreated. This is a hard step and I think that a lot of people fail sobriety because of this lack of normalcy feeling. I can’t hang out with the same friends, and even as recent as last night, was invited to hang out with someone I really care about, at a big party where all they were doing was drinking, and I can’t go. I can go sit with people who drink without that temptation, but really I don’t want to. It isn’t fun to watch everyone else partake, and know I can’t. It also leaves a very low tolerance towards those who are partaking, I get disgusted with their behavior easier because I’m sober and see what they are doing.
In turn, I sit home doing nothing and feeling totally bottled up in my bubble of life away from anything or anyone because I don’t know where to start. So this week I have made a plan. I am going to head back into Sweet Adeline’s and sign up for real, make that dedication. I really contemplated it after my divorce, but I was still drinking and making that dedication financially and emotionally while battling my addiction I knew wasn’t fair to the group, and now, I think it will be intensely therapeutic for me.
I also think I am going to return to swimming. I need get out some physical exertion and beyond just doing laps, I remember swimming being a grand thought processing time for me each day, a physical meditation on top of my normal meditation. Hopefully the combination of the two new activities will give me some outlet for all the energies and emotions and some soul healing that I greatly need.
If you are a recovering addict and you know this feeling, you aren’t alone. I write this page for myself, but also for you. If you ever have questions or need someone to talk to, please reach out. I would love to pay forward the information I have been given and the fixes I have learned over the last 9 months of my sobriety.