It took me a while to figure out why that yucky feeling of unease had settled like a heavy stone in my chest. 519 days into recovery I still have to work hard at sitting with my emotions when they begin to overwhelm me. Having said that, I suspect I’ll still have to work at it when I’m at 5,190 days but that’s cool with me – progress, not perfection. So there it was, that yucky feeling, but instead of numbing it with drink I did what I do these days when I feel a little off – I faced it, felt it and tried to understand it.
I talk openly about my addiction and my journey through recovery. In fact, I’m – as strange as it may sound – proud of it, ALL of it. Perhaps not proud of all the years I drank but I’m proud that I’m one of those lucky ones who found the strength and courage to stare the Beast down and force it back into a cage, albeit one without a lock and one that depends entirely on me never losing sight of it. Point is though, that I feel so strongly about talking openly about it because it’s hearing others tell their stories that helps me so much. I guess I’m trying to find ways to pay it forward, this amazing gift of sobriety.
So anyway. I rummaged through my toolkit and decided to take a long walk. I wasn’t at all in the mood, quite tired and I had a million other things to do, but I pulled on my trainers and went. Down by the fountain at the other end of the park, it dawned on me where that yucky feeling had come from. Earlier today I updated the settings on this blog, changed the layout and tidied up a bit. Then I checked LinkedIn to see what other recovery professionals I could possibly stalk and connect with and got a little prompt saying I’ve not yet added a website. Cool bananas. I added Storm and that was that. No biggie – the whole world knows I’m a recovering alcoholic and I bloody REFUSE to hide that fact in a church basement. Here I am, the big, fat alkie – boo! Bite me.
But that’s what it was. The shame I used to feel must be so deeply engrained in me that perhaps some subconscious signals in my mind were flashing red and urging me to hide instead. I was feeling yucky about having shared openly again. Fuck that shit. Shut up, brain, you stupid old thing! Just pipe down, will ya! This is why you and I have trust issues.
Perhaps it’s the endorphines from the hour long brisk walk or perhaps it’s just the fact that I felt my feelings again without anaesthesia, who knows. And who cares. It’s quite interesting when I have these little realisations. And good that I did – tomorrow I’m doing a video’d call with a lady running a website centred on living alcohol free. Quite different to posting a link to my blog that probably no one will see, never mind click on via LinkedIn. Silly me.
And on that note, I guess I’d better have a little think about what I want to say. As you all know, there is nothing I love more than being the centre of attention, being caught on camera and have other people hear me talk. I also like to snuggle with tarantulas, they’re so cuddly and cute. Fuck me, I’m having palpitations already.
Today I’m not going to drink.