Throughout the process of treatment and recovery for my mental health, I have run into a big situation…. what to do with myself. I have not had a drop of alcohol in 190 days. I never realized how much my life revolved around drinking until I quit. No matter the day or occasion, I was going to incorporate drinking into it, one way or another. If we were going out to eat, the restaurant always had to serve alcohol.
On weeknights when I came home from work, I would immediately pop open a cold beer or a bottle of Merlot. My weeknights revolved around alcohol, drinking while cooking, sometimes passing out on the sofa later on, usually abandoning my husband and kids by doing so. My weekends were usually spent cleaning house and working through mountains of laundry… while drinking of course. When I was not out visiting with friends and drinking, I was at home drinking. The hardest obstacle I faced at home during the beginning of my sobriety was finding the motivation to clean my house without a drink in my hand. Cleaning no longer has the same appeal as it did before. Vacations were definitely times for intense boozing. If I went on a trip anywhere, I used the “vacation” excuse to drink from sunrise to sunset. Unfortunately, this means I do not have very many memories of my past vacations, but that was a sacrifice I never minded making.
The After Party
Sobriety is a beautiful thing. Being able to find joy and happiness without the influence of alcohol has been quite an adventure for me. Because of my horrific behavior and affair, my first several months of sobriety were much easier than the last couple of months. I was so focused on restoring my family and re-building my marriage with my husband during the beginning, that I did not have the time or desire to miss drinking. The stakes were just too high, and I knew that a drink would destroy everything I had worked so hard to rebuild. Eventually, as always, time changes things. With my marriage becoming stronger than ever and my children growing closer to me, comes the part of sobriety I was not prepared for… boredom. I am living in a permanent “closing time” state of mind and I cannot figure out what to do with myself. I have read so many wonderful articles and blogs suggesting hobbies and things to keep myself busy with, but I do not feel motivated to do any of it. Most days, especially weekends, I find myself pacing around my house, trying to come up with something productive to do with myself. Needless to say, every room in my home has been decluttered, cleaned, and rearranged. What does one do when there is nothing left to clean? I am sure that isolating myself and continuously working on home projects is not entirely healthy for my mind.
Am I Alone in Here?
It has been suggested to me that I spend time with friends, to remove myself from isolation. To mingle with other people means to expose myself to others. The idea of making new friends is a scary idea to me because all my past friendships have ended in utter failure, usually from my actions. How can I involve myself with other people when I do not even know who I am as a person? Most days I feel lost and out of sorts. If I am not the partying, drinking, good-time Savannah everyone knew… who am I? One thing I am sure of, I am a wife and a mother. I have bonded with my family so much throughout my recovery and venturing outside of my inner circle feels like stepping out into the fire. How does one move on as a new person, with nothing to talk about and nothing to relate to with others? So many of my past friendships are the reasons why I believe wolves exist among sheep. I have been manipulated, used, and torn apart… repeatedly. How can I ever trust anyone outside of my family?
I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and attended a weekend retreat in beautiful Mentone, Alabama. The retreat was planned by my boss, who thought a weekend away would be a great break for the entire staff. I hesitated at first because I have not spent a night away from my family in a long time, let alone an entire weekend. My husband was on board with me going, which made me want to give the retreat a try. Going away to a remote, peaceful place in the mountains, was just what I needed to inspire me to do more with my life. I enjoyed exploring, antiquing, and dining with my coworkers. I loved watching my coworkers interact together outside of our work environment. I got to know them better on a personal level, adding a few more friends to my inner circle.
I am not ready to venture outside of my inner circle, but slowly adding to it has inspired me to be hopeful. I am hopeful that I will come out of this funk I have been in for so long. I pray every day for forgiveness and guidance. I may not know who I am today, but I am finally taking baby steps towards the road of self-discovery.