My last post talked a little about “self care.” I had no idea what that meant. I had lived in chaos either created by others that I hung out with or I created myself, I had no idea that there was such an idea as no chaos. Chaos was my normal. Chaos made me choose drinking, when I didn’t know how to deal with chaos/life.
Change of Pace
When I stopped drinking, I unplugged my coping mechanism. But the chaos was still around me, the chaos was still in me. And If I hadn’t had meetings to go to, I would have no idea that this was normal but, there were other options other than drinking. And how would I? It was a lifetime solution and it was my father’s solution. This was my first introduction to being nice to myself. Giving myself credit for trying to do something different. Something that certainly looked better. Seeing people around a room, people that felt just like me and were dealing with life without drinking or drugs. So I took a deep breath and said to myself, “I want this and I am working for it.” That was being nice to myself.
Chaos for me hid in some very unexpected places. People and family were obvious. Traffic and my phone also obvious. But what I didn’t know was that as I was in early recovery everything seemed overwhelming. I was still in the detoxing stage I think. Though the shakes had stopped, I found I had fog in my head. I would cry or feel like crying. Most of the time, I didn’t know why. Again, someone in the fellowship told me it was “normal.”
If you drive, do you ever find that when you get into bad weather or a tense situation you turn off or down the radio without even thinking about it? Well, that’s me. I learned early in recovery that the music on the radio or on my ipod that I had been listening to when I was drinking caused some anxiety. Just hearing it. Some people called it a “trigger.” It didn’t make me run to a drink, but it did make me feel that same chaos that over time may have made me choose to drink. I stopped listening to that music like I had been. I listen to it again a little now, but I have noticed that something more mellow helped to soothe me rather than “revving me up.” I learned that listening to different music (or no music at all), was being nice to myself.
And it was FREE.