After a a rough week, things are starting to turn around.
I woke up, laying in bed, and stared at the ceiling. Thursdays always feel like a turning point. I whispered a little prayer. I never know how the day is going to go, but, I’m not afraid to ask for God’s help anymore. This past week has been like so many others in sobriety, a lesson in patience. Feeling blue, but, somehow knowing that on the other side of it all, there’s growth. There’s change. There’s something that I’m learning, but, haven’t quite grasped the concept of just yet.
It occurs to me that getting sober is kind of like being a student. But, I’m also the teacher, the principle, the homework, and the recess all rolled into one. It’s this contained learning system. All these outside forces contribute to my change and growth, but, I am the standard that I must hold myself to and am the person to whom I am accountable.
Sometimes I forget that I’m doing this for me. There are counselors and sponsors. AA and process groups. But, it’s me that I must answer to at the end of the day. Did I do my best? Did I do everything I needed to do for my sobriety? Did I eat well to support my health and recovery? Did I apply for enough jobs? Did I do my best, truly? Only I can answer that. There is no parent here shaking a finger at me. I’m independent.
I told my therapist how I’ve been feeling trapped. Trapped by my circumstance, my recovery, my family, my joblessness. And, she reminded me that I haven’t even graduated rehab yet. How, being proactive and aware is very important, but, there’s a difference between being proactive and future tripping. It’s OK to have high standards, but, I have to give myself the necessary time to let things fall into place. Patience.
I left my therapist’s office feeling better. That strange sensation that things are going to be OK in due time washed over me. I like that I’m am starting to have this feeling more regularly. It’s the feeling I get right before I walk out on the other side of a dark patch, and see that even though I thought I’d been standing still, I’d actually been walking through something big. And, I think my big lesson this past week has been: Listen.
I need to listen to myself. My body. My feelings. My memories. And, sometimes listening is painful. Like so many lessons in sobriety, this one is not a walk in the park. On some level, I think I still expect each sober day to be infinitely better than any day when I was drinking. It’s just not true. Some days fucking suck. And, if my body and soul wants to stay in bed and sleep, ignoring everything it has to do, well, it may not be pleasant, but, it’s what I need to do to feel better. And, that’s valid.
So, as I get out of bed, pulling down the covers that have been up to my ears for the past week, I step back onto God’s path. I ask for patience and resilience, because that’s what I need to avoid going crazy today. I stop and appreciate the fact that after a week of morose solitude, I told myself to get up and step back out into the sun.
And, what do you know, I listened.