90 days sober! How is that working out for you?
I meet many people who start pretty well, even reporting that they feel better—managing quality sleep, resulting in days becoming more productive—a feeling of being connected to their own emotions. However! It seems that people relapse around the 3/4-week phase.
I remember when I first went sober, back in 2018. It was then that I began to recognise those feelings of anxiety and fear when meeting up with friends and the thoughts that they would be judging me because I was not going to be drinking. Other ideas, I am not fun and outgoing; when I am not drinking, I am boring. I placed so much pressure on myself through my thinking.
Those thoughts have never been the truth. I was and still am as naughty and fun sober as I was when I was in the throes of an alcoholic blur. The difference was I never woke up with those awful feelings of sickness, the head hurting and all the thinking around, oh my god! Did I really say that, do that, or upset someone? Or worse. I am sure some of you recognise those thoughts the morning after and the feelings of absolute lethargy and sickness. I have shared some funny stories of going to work with a hangover. But just because they are honest and comical doesn’t mean that I enjoyed those feelings or am proud of those tales.
But life is so much freer now. I no longer have those old emotions, and anxious thinking is rarely present.
It is interesting when you understand that it was the alcohol withdrawal that was creating those feelings in the body that I named anxiety and depression, along with my dark glasses that only saw the doom and loneliness that surrounded me.
As alcohol withdraws from the body, dopamine lowers, and this is the chemical that tells us we have got to have it! Alcohol and nicotine, and sugar, along with a myriad of other things, tricks the brain and let us think that we need the substance habit or behaviour. It lets us know when we are hungry, and it drives lust. These are fundamentals required to keep the human species continuing, so it makes sense that evolution gave us a way of surviving.
I hope that it is all beginning to make sense.
There are also emotional needs that we humans require. Tony Robbins talks about them, and in Human Givens, training is at the core of their therapy model.
Security, attention, control, meaning and purpose, privacy, community, intimacy, status, and achievement.
When emotional needs are unmet, we look for something outside ourselves to fill the void inside; this can look like emotional/over-eating, recreational drug use, alcohol binges or even self-harm along with many other behaviours that do not always support our wellbeing.
What I know to be true is that we humans are creative thinking animals that often put on the wrong glasses and believe so strongly that what we are thinking and seeing now is truth.
Or is it?
Have you ever been somewhere, and everything was wrong, customer service, food, cleanliness, price, everyone else around you? I have!
Then you returned, and you were in a different mood or frame of mind, suddenly, a whole new experience was being had by you and those around you. Different experience, different thinking.
I am in no way disregarding either my or your experiences, either good or traumatic.
Really horrible things happen. We have now at the time of writing this a war breaking out between Ukraine and Russia (or just Putin himself) Here’s the thing, you are not there and putting your body in a state of stress will only cause you harm along with the domino effect of how it then effects those close to you and so on. Take care of yourself first and stop, breath and recognise in a moment what is around you.
For me I am thankful for the home I live in, food on the table, water to drink and bathe in along with a car to transport me around and clients I work with that help make this all possible.
What are you thankful for NOW!
If you are struggling with being in dark place in your mind, email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Or book a free exploration zoom meeting by clicking the link below.
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