What I am learning as I go along is that my mood can go from euphoria to the deepest sense of doom and back again very rapidly. This is what I’m like undiluted by Sauvignon Blanc. Just reading a few consecutive blog posts illustrates this clearly – from angry and irritable, I’m on cloud nine just a day or two later. I guess I have to make my peace with these being the cards I was dealt and accept that I am precisely what my mother says I am (and she repeated it once again when she was over to visit just a week ago): “an artist’s soul”. By this she doesn’t mean that I’m a creative genius, but rather, that everything I feel, I feel strongly. Ups, downs, mountain high, valley low and every damn thing in between.
That’s OK. As exhausting as it can be, I figure I’m better off accepting this about myself, as opposed to getting so agitated and confused when every day isn’t rainbows and unicorns. That’s what does seem to be the case, you see. When I get these little blips in my mood and my emotions run haywire, I get all panicked because I think I occasionally lose sight of how life isn’t always a fairytale. This is a remnant of my time spent in active addiction – an unpleasant feeling? Pour wine on it! A tinge of joy? Douse it in ethanol and squeeze it for all it’s worth! Feeling flat? Plunge head long into a sea of glittering white wine spritzer and splash around!
Recovery is doing none of that. Recovery is sitting with whatever it is that I’m feeling and accepting my emotions for what they are. In my case, this can be a very frustrating process because they are so many and so diverse. My emotions are all the world’s cultures, languages, traditions, wars, victories, joys, sorrows and natural disasters crammed into the little space that is my mind – sometimes all at once. My brain’s control panel is forever busy changing its settings to process them all as no two seem to conform to any similarity. I mean, sometimes it takes me a day or two to adjust to speaking Swedish when we go there and then back to English when we get back home, so God knows how tired my brain must get working to decipher all these colourful emotions passing through it.
It’s exhausting, for sure. But hey. This is how it is. I need to be a bit more mindful of it, I think. I mean, it’s as if I forget when I get caught in a dip that this is par for the course of being Anna. Then when I hit the upswing again, I shake it off and push it aside as if it never happened, yet when I’m right in it I feel super hopeless and fed up. Perhaps I need to start meditating? What can I do to become more mindful and aware? The next time I hit a bump in the road, how I can I convincingly show myself that this is just a little Anna-bump? Instead of genuinely believing I’m about to land in the deepest depression and feeling like the world is ending?
Oh well. Just some thoughts that hit me as I read through the last few up-and-down-and-back-up-again blog posts I’ve written. Today? Feeling good and solidly content. Not over the moon, fireworks happy or string quartet, doom-and-gloom sad or angry. Just content. One of those gentle rollers, as one of my favourite bloggers referred to the more balanced life we tend to experience in recovery.
Today I’m not going to drink.