Day 80: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Ain’t No Valley Low Enough

Highs and fucking lows.

I wish I could predict what each day was going to bring, if only to make sure I get enough sleep.

My emotional life is still like a roller coaster, and, it frustrates me. While I have enough perspective to see that things are on a gradual climb, albeit slow and steady, it’s still the minor interruptions that throw me. I’m so hot and cold. One morning I wake to find the day is a stellar gift from the heavens. I’m totally into my recovery. Proud and happy in my sobriety. Prancing to and from treatment and AA meetings, a smile on my face…elf glitter shooting behind my heels as I walk.

Then, the next morning, I can barely get myself out of bed. I look at the floor in my AA meeting in hopes that no one will notice me, because if I’m called on, I’m totally going to pass my share to someone else. There isn’t enough coffee or sleep in the world to keep my eyes from drooping, and the expression of bitterness and semi-despair is difficult to wipe off my face.

Since I’m so outgoing and vivacious when I’m in a good place, it’s pretty much impossible to hide my grumpitude when I’m in a bad one.

I tell myself this business of high mountains and low valleys are all part of the process, because, intellectually, I know it to be true. But, on an emotional level, it’s really hard to be completely elated, coasting on a sober and spiritual high and then, the next day, wake in a funk so deep and blue that a drink seems wise and God, while he still looms, seems far away.

The inconsistency of my mood is disheartening. And while I know there are pharmaceutical options available to correct these depressive highs and lows, putting more chemicals into my already confused body seems like a bad choice for me. In a recent AA meeting I attended, the chairperson talked about coming off what I assume were anti-depressant meds. This person just wanted to get back to basics. To stop putting things in to the body to “correct” it.

It occurred to me, that maybe I’m getting what my body needs. These peaks and valleys. I’ve struggled with depression my whole life, long before drinking was my solution. And, it was hard back then too. I had been medicated for depression in my youth, and I distinctly remember hating the effects of the drugs. How I became so completely numb, that I didn’t feel anything at all. It relieved the depression, but, it also negated anything else I was feeling. Zapped my energy. I was a emotional zombie.

I’m walking in the valley today. Flat, lonely, bland, and unchanging. It seems endless. But, I know that there’s no way to predict what tomorrow will bring. I can only hope that it’s one of those joyous days that sends me leaping from one thing to the next.

Just for today, my high will be my sobriety. Despite this morning’s Eeyore-ish outlook. Whether I’m standing at the summit of the mountain, or in the longest, widest stretch of the lowest valley…it’s all God’s land…blessed and holy.

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