January 3, 2014
I’ve got a little over three months now, 104 days of sobriety, not a single drop of booze to “help” me through the tough times.
While I was drinking, I was pretty numb to everything. I was drinking heavily every night, drowning out the pain of being me. The next day my body was trying to play catch up all day. Even on days with no hangovers, my physical body was trying to recover from last night’s lonely party of two, me and my wine.
Mentally I could focus my attention here and there for short amounts of time, to write, to practice yoga, to play with my kids and get my house stuff done. But my next drink was always in the back of mind.
There was never time and space for real clarity.
That is changing. My body is detoxing, getting clean again. Sometimes I can actually hear my liver breathing, deep full breaths, saying thank you Kim, thankyou. On the down side, I am breaking out all over my body, my cycles are debilitating and long, and I cry every day. Crying in and of itself isn’t bad. But when you’ve been ignoring your feelings for 30 years and start crying in the middle of the grocery store or at the car wash vacuuming your car, it can get awkward.
Mentally I am gaining some real clarity. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Clarity. Until I had any, in my previously pickled state, I have always associated the word with peace, understanding, and general happy-la-la, unicorn poop and rainbows feelings.
Clarity to my understanding, in this moment is a state of mind muddled with confusion, not knowing, and in general, that “what the fuck” feeling.
Here I am, 104 days into sobriety and I am mentally and emotionally waking the fuck up. It’s like I have been asleep for 30 years and someone decided to throw my slumbering self into Lake Eerie. I’m awake, I’m freezing, I’m panicked,I feel like I am drowning.
I can’t tell you the tears I have cried in the past two days. The kind of sobs that rock your whole body, emotions being released that I buried so deeply, never wanting to face or acknowledge my pain.
I used to think I have no value, that I was worthless. My thoughts, my time, my needs, goals and desires all really didn’t matter to me. I always wanted them to matter, but when you think you have no value and are worth discarding, others follow that lead.
The root of my alcoholism stems from feeling not good enough, having no self-value and self- worth and not having my voice be heard.
For most of my life I have let other people make my decisions for me. Not intentionally. My general feelings of lack of self-worth and not being enough have allowed and set the stage for people, places, and things to govern the way I live.
Because of my program and therapy I am beginning to heal these broken ideas and belief systems concerning myself. I am beginning to recognize my value and worth. Spirit is telling me that I am enough. I am learning that for my voice to be heard I have to access and own my power to speak clearly, efficiently, and within the context of reality. I have to ask for what I want and examine the reasons I want “the thing.” I am now aware that the quality of my life and relationships is my responsibility.
I am now aware of just how little I thought for myself and how a negative self-image allowed people to make my decisions for me.
The clarity is overwhelming.
I don’t know how to be this new version of me. I don’t know how to make my needs known without an argument, not fueled by manipulation, anger and fear.I don’t know how to honor the voice inside that says I am enough.
My guy and I came together because of our wounds. Now we are both moving forward on our spiritual and life paths and every day is intense. Relationships are work on their own, throwa recovering alcoholic into play and shit starts to get real. It’s hard to get through a day together. I feel like he doesn’t understand what I am going through and he probably feels the same way about me. It’s difficult for us to have a conversation about anything, let alone the heavy stuff. There’s this tension between us that is uncomfortable and the silence is so heavy it could suffocate me. I don’t know how to have a conversation with my guy about how I am changing, therefore the things I want in life are changing.
The thing is that I need to have a conversation with him and let him know that I am hurting, confused, scared and ashamed. I want to let him know that I love him and that things will get easier. I want to tell him that I am changing, that the way I think about myself is changing, I am starting to love me. I want him to know that I want to grow together and heal together. I want him to know that stuff that was acceptable to me during the numbness and lack of feeling that was my active alcoholism is no longer going to work in our family.
I want to tell him that I am so afraid of losing him because I am an alcoholic that I am terrified that this new version of me isn’t what he wants in his life. I want him to know that I won’t stay broken to maintain the old paradigm of our relationship, the very paradigm that I created. The wounded parts of me need my efforts to be acknowledged. The healing part of me needs to be heard.
That’s the most unsettling part of my clarity. I am responsible for the current state of my relationship. In the past I always bowed out when something mattered to me. I was always asking how can I help instead of asking for what I really needed. I created this broken, imbalanced power play in our relationship, in all my relationships. For the past nine years drunk Kim has been laying out this crappy foundation, one broken brick at a time. Personal responsibility people, it will make you humble.
My clarity and my highest self is now asking from more from life. Like I said before, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to be me. I don’t know how to have a hard conversation sober. I don’t know how to trudge through this mud without a drink in my hand. I don’t know how to be powerful. I don’t know how to express my feelings and communicate. I feel so powerless, so fucking confused. Every time I try to talk to him I make an excuse. Every time I try to talk to him, I think, “This would be so much easier if I could have a glass of wine.”
There’s the fucking kicker people. My fucked up, alcoholic brain thinks I can solve all my problems with a drink. Isn’t it ironic that the very thing that created these challenges in my life also seems to be the solution? Talk about fucking clarity.
They say “no mud no lotus”. I am neck deep in the fucking mud today. I can see the surface of the lake from down here, but am nowhere near reaching the top.
One day at a time Kim. Today I am going to take a shower, do my laundry, go to a meeting, and make dinner. Today I am going to pray, and ask God to help me, because I need some fucking help. Today I am going to try to be me, whatever that means. Today I will stay sober.
Kim Smith, RecoveryYogini.com