Day 20: On My Impressive Capacity for Self-Pity

It’s Day 20 and boy oh boy, am I feeling sorry for myself. The level of self-pity is impressive, really. The thing is, it’s not exactly because I want to drink. I kind of don’t want to drink. It’s because I want something else to fill that space and I haven’t figured out what it is yet. There’s no doubt that my life is better on every possible axis than it was 21 days ago, but also no denying that there’s a bit of a hole in it, too. I’m trying to be patient and give my new life more than half a second to take shape, but patience never has been my strong suit.

One thing that’s tough right now is that my hip flexor or psoas is strained from running–just a minor strain, but even a minor injury to the muscle you use to pick your leg up is not ideal. Exercise–a decade-long yoga practice (that’s right, I’ve been a serious yogi for ten whole years and still managed to develop a drinking problem 🙂 ), Pilates, and a rather slow, agonized form of running–is really important to me for stress and mood management. I’m a live-in-my-head kind of person with perfectionist tendencies and a very high-profile job, and that hour a day of just moving my body is the only kind of outlet I have sometimes. (Well, now it is. I used to have wine…) So here I am sober, tense, and with maybe 1.7 functioning legs. Make that 1.6 since I tripped on the sidewalk today on the way to buy myself some flowers at the farmer’s market and took a header, busting up my knee and my phone in one neat trick. So yeah–I feel like a giant, stressed, sober brain on a stick this week. And yet there’s really no question in my mind that I’m going to stay sober. I’m just going to be a big baby about it, I think.

6 thoughts on “Day 20: On My Impressive Capacity for Self-Pity

  1. I am very exactly at that point right now (even down to the 1.7 functioning legs). Thanks for knowing you’ve been there and done that.

  2. I identify completely with your post. Day 31 for me and oh how the tiny violins are playing in my head. I am also on the injured list. My passion is ballet and my knee is giving me trouble again. Super depressed about how it is keeping me from dancing! I did Vinyasa yoga for many years, but ballet is irreplaceable to me and it always lures me back, although, it is the most difficult thing I have ever done. Thank you for your blog. You are a riot!

  3. Holy shiz, day 21 for me and I literally got up out of my chair after reading the first sentence. The second one just made me laugh. Thanks for helping me pop my head out of that dark cloud i was smothering myself in. Sheesh!

    1. Ha! Those dark clouds are normal. But they do pass. (By which I mean I still get them sometimes, but never ever over sobriety anymore.) Happy day 22!!!

  4. Hi – I love your blog and have read it start to finish several times. Finally decided to go alcohol free and today is day 6! First few days were great, but today I am really feeling that hole. Especially in the evening. What did you find to fill it? Right now I’m getting by with dark chocolate….

    1. Happy day 6!!!! You’re definitely going to feel uncomfortable at times for a while—think of it like building a whole new set of muscles. Muscles get sore! I ate a lot (uh, like a LOT) of ice cream at first because it was an alternative that felt like an indulgence. Evenings were also tough for me, particularly 7-9, so I started making myself busy for at least part of those hours. I’d browse at a bookstore, exercise, even go to a movie. (I don’t have kids so this was more readily doable for me than it might be for parents.) Cleaned out a closet, sorted through makeup and tossed what I wasn’t using. Basically *anything* to interrupt the mental chatter. I couldn’t focus on reading or TV at first, maybe because I was so used them being accompanied by wine. But within a few weeks it started to feel MUCH more normal to be home and not drinking, and all that stuff fell back into my life. Shortly after that I started to actually relish the extra time I’d opened up in my evenings. But yeah, at first that extra time was scary. You have to just kind of trust the process and ride it out. 💕

      (Oh, and btw, there’s certainly nothing wrong with going to bed early. I’ve known very newly sober people who went to sleep at SEVEN on really tough days. 😊 )

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