I will start with this. I am in a very good place. I have love, financial stability, a career I love and friends and family that I adore but I’ve been struggling of late. I get these feelings in the pit of my stomach that the glass is going to crack and my new life that I love is going to decintegrate before my eyes. I know these feelings are irrational and no, they don’t last long but they are my feelings which makes them real. Makes them valid.
I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for nearly 7 years. The 10 or so years before I stopped was nothing short of hell. I felt constant anxiety, constant worry, a constant feeling of butterflies with razor wings. A feeling like my world would implode at any given moment. If I’m honest with myself I felt that way for way longer then 10 years.. Let’s call it from the age of 4. I remember those feelings very well and periodically they rear themselves. In the past few months I’ve come to a realization that I may be suffering some of the long term affects. A ptsd of sorts. After nearly 32 years of anxiety, it’s a possibility, right?
As a person who’s been in recovery for nearly 7 years I’ve gone through some pretty significant changes. I ended a ten year relationship with someone I was not in love with anymore, 2 years ago almost to this day. It was hard. Like holy shit hard. Like my alcoholism, I knew that relationship had to end WAY before I got the courage to pull the plug. It was a good 3 years of mulling, complaining, and suffering before I did the deed and within that time I acted out in ways I’m beyond ashamed about. *Just because you put the bottle down, does NOT exempt you from alcoholic behaviour.* At least not alllllll of the time. And that is certainly what happened to me. I started acting out in ways that went against everything I stood for. All of the work I had done spiritually, emotionally and physically kinda went out the window. I started looking for chaos and chaos is exactly what I got. I spoke to my sponsor and she basically told me that even tho I hadn’t taken a drink it was as if I had marched into a bar and downed 10 shots of tequila. Wowza... In that moment I truthfully thought she was exaggerating, going a little over the top for the sake of effect but now 2 1/2 years later I know exactly what she was saying and only now am I starting to feel the effects. Time to do some work.
My whole life has been a tad dramatic. Childhood wasn’t great, teenage years were shit, full of promiscuity and drama, early-mid 20s were actually awesome because I lived in a haze of ecstasy, MDMA, crystal meth and the longest dance party of my life. I was a successful little drug dealer who was really good at it and made a shit ton of money. Enough to pay off my student debt AND I came out unscathed. Did a TON of stupid irresponsible shit that could have landed me in prison both in the USA and homeland of Canada. I am one lucky yogini. Once the bright and shiny started to wear off and the drugs no longer worked I turned to alcohol and that’s when things went south and went south at a speed that still amazes me. I muddled through a black out haze for the better part of 12 years before I decided to take my life back but it wasn’t easy. These changes never are. Up until Jan 2, 2012 my life was full of drama and anxiety as aforementioned and it had become my normal. NORMAL.. When anxiety is as normal as waiting for a bus it’s got to have an affect. Like long term affect.. which I guess is what brings me here to this post.
In the past few months I have been processing stuff. I have hurt a few people on my path of sobriety. I’ve made my amends to those I had affected with my years of drinking but this is a whole new thing. Realizing you chose a certain path knowing damn well it was going to hurt another (even though you know in your heart it was the right thing to do) is a tough pill to swallow. I teach self-love, compassion and mindfulness. I try to live my yoga on the mat but off the mat as well. But I am also human. In all the ways..I’m realizing there is still a shit ton of work to be done in me. If I don’t, I may not pick up the bottle of booze but I will be continuing on the path of active addiction and I am SO not ok with that.
At nearly 7 years of sobriety it’s time to get back to basics. Back to the Big Book, back to the steps, back to meetings. There is always more work to be done. I am worth it. SO, that’s the plan. I have some pretty awesome sober friends and with the help of them I will do another step study, I will comb through the Big Book and I will come to get another evolution of this here sober way of life. Here’s to another sober 24💛