My mom was kind enough to buy me a book that I requested for Christmas called "Writing the Damn Book". Oh, did my niece have fun reading that outloud to everyone after I opened it. I started and nearly finished this book on my vacation. It inspired me to buy a journal on the boat to start taking some notes. The author is kind of my spirit animal I think. She swears throughout the book and puts things down in a very simple manner. Some of the needed tasks of writing a book, I learned, are not super sexy, glamorous or even fun. But like some things in our lives, these tasks are necessary. The author really understood me. SO many ideas -- it's probably enough for 3 books.
She talked about people who blog. When I started this blog, I remember feeling so free that I was finally able to tell a little bit of my story. I wanted other people to know that addiction is miserable and you can get help. I did have a lot of anger for that first year of sobriety not to mention shame which could have made an interesting blog but would not have done much in terms of promoting a life of recovery. It was year 2 of recovery that stands tall in my memory, more so than the first year. I finally came to this place of acceptance with about 30 different things that were bothering me. I was becoming free of my resentments. I was ready to take on the whole world. I started blogging at that point to offer a place to read about the craziness of addiction and the life of recovery.
Year 2 had this huge momentum of growth. There is a Foo Fighters song called "Times Like These" and one of the lyric lines simply states: "It's times like these we learn to live again." I used to listen to that song obsessively when I got divorced. I really hadn't figure much out about how to live at that point. I still had another 3 years of hardcore drinking after that happened. After getting into recovery, I enjoyed this song even more because I really was learning to live again. I was excited about it. I was happy about it. I wanted to try to articulate to the world out there was it's like to be free from the chains of addiction.
I turned 41 last Thursday (01/25). Normally I do not work on my birthday and haven't for the past 15 years. Well, since I had just spent a week on a boat and have no PTO, it was a little hard to justify taking a day off just because it's my birthday. It happened on a day that I counsel people at the local jail. It's a wonder I never landed in jail with all of my shenanigans during my active addiction phase. There were some cathartic moments to be had as our group talked about aging, sobriety and the meaning of this life. They often ask me questions about recovery and if it's worth it. Why did I decide to change? How do I handle certain situations? Without asking directly, several of their questions really become: "Who am I without my drugs?"
It was hard at 30 to answer any questions about who I was anymore. I was so lost and so sick. I swam through dark waters trying to find any light. I knew there were things wrong about my life. I was just at loss on what to do about it. I really thought my divorce was going to change everything. Actually, my life got quite a bit worse after that. I thought that if I got a new car that would help. Not really, although it was nice to drive something so shiny and new. I thought that if I changed jobs, I would be happier. For about 10 minutes. One of my favorite sayings, "Everywhere you go, there you are!" Going from one facility to the next in nursing doesn't really change all that much. I thought a new relationship would solve all my problems. Nope. Just shy of my 34th birthday, I finally got it through my thick skull (it is medically verified that I have a very thick dura which covers the brain)......I had to get rid of addiction and alcohol for anything to get better.
Over the past couple of years, I have felt like I have lost my way a little bit. Recovery is still #1 priority; without recovery, I really can't do anything. In year 2, I heard my calling and jumped into action. Year 7....I hear the calling kind of. I am getting a lot of messages from up above that the future is sitting right in front of me. The only reason I am not there is because of me. I am being fearful instead of fearless. I am procrastinating instead of moving. I am distracting myself instead of focusing. Starting to read this book made that message very clear. Year 2 in recovery - I was fearless, energized and focused. That is what I am missing right now. There is no one to blame for that except for me.
Something happened during the years of 2013-2014. My energy faded. My confidence floundered. During 2013, I had attempted a medication change for my depression that was a total and complete disaster. There is probably a blog entry in the archives in May 2013 about it if you want the gory details of my mind without medications. I was doing really well up until that happened. The change was requested by me because I was paying over $300 a month for my medications straight out of pocket. There was a less expensive alternative and it didn't work at all. I feel like, in a way, I never really bounced back fully after that. My motivation and drive never really came back to the point of 2012. My monitoring program was over, my medication change was a disaster, I broke up with a long-term boyfriend after 5 years and I hated school. I was resentful, angry, undermedicated and most of all, wondering if I had made a huge mistake by going back to school to counsel other people.
What I am hoping for, in terms of the year 2018, the 41st year of my life, is to find that motivation and drive again. A few things that I really need to focus on are my general health and diet. I also just need to start writing. I have something valuable to say. I want to revive my curiosity about the world and about personal growth. In the younger years of sobriety, I was so focused on getting my hands of every single last piece of information about anything. It was almost like being a child again. I am going to just go and do, and see what happens. In these later years, I have become a little more introverted in some ways and lost my drive and ambition. I am not finding that inner child-like curiosity and energy.
I am hoping that 41 is going to be the year I get my groove back. I need to tap into that creative energy and just go for it. I heard my message clear - get out of your own way. I think I am ready to do just that.
Love to all!