Working from home today and was able to mix my usual workload with a lot of sober community interactions and a visit to the Bubble Hour podcast to listen to one of my new AFFs (alcohol free friends haha), Alison’s interview. Nice to unabashedly multi-task! I’ve even found a group of sober advertising execs in the area to hang with, SEAM.
As I come up on a month, I find myself reflecting on the changes I’ve noticed since quitting. Although it might be premature to draw any conclusions, one of the things that has been surprising to discover is that life is easier.
Don’t get me wrong, this has been tough. Really tough. I’m still hanging on for dear life – needing to have a solid plan every evening and an iron-clad plan for the weekends. I’m working out more than our family schedule easily allows, and I’m avoiding my husband in the evenings just to scrape by. I’ve had headaches during happy hour for the first few weeks. I am still struggling to calm down at the end of the night, and put myself to bed before midnight. My online spending has jumped (since I deserve rewards, right?) and I’m sure I’ve spent the same amount on fancy AF drinks as I did before on alcohol. All the emotional baggage of my marriage and my own personal insecurities and issues have been tough to deal with and I see a long road ahead in the area of self-discovery and improvement.
But it’s become easier to cope. Nothing has changed – the stresses of normal life, the ups and downs, the demand of a job and family are all there but I am coping better. I’m not second-guessing myself anymore, and I feel calmer, less reactive.
My self-confidence is increasing and I feel more fully present, mentally and emotionally, both at home and at work. And I’m enjoying this feeling so much I’m starting to examine what other things I do that erode my self-confidence. Now that I recognize what that feels like (in it’s absence), I am noticing activities and choices I make that chip away at my self-respect.
And adding them to the list of things I need to work on. At least now, tackling these issues seems managable.
Late PM update:
Just wanted to record this memory – an example of connection… Today at dinner, while one of my sons and I sat still finishing our dinners after the others had left, he turned to me and made a funny head-shaking, fist-making, exertion face to be goofy. Not unusual, but I picked up on it and repeated it, exaggerating a bit more. He laughed, I laughed. This game repeated itself about 20x, each time getting more exaggerated and hilarious for both of us, until we were almost peeing our pants and he said “I got to go to the bathroom!” and ran off. I had tears of laughter streaming down and realized it was one of the most connected moments I’ve had with this son in a long time. Grateful for special moments like these, and for the ability to notice and remember them. And grateful I’m discovering this now, in time to capture this beautiful time in our lives.