Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Monday, June 16, 2014

Only 1 Year & 11 Months Left To Go

I'm a month sober now.  While I'm very happy about that, I've been struggling with my mood and emotions and motivation for weeks on end now.  I've decided to give up on my whole "90-day transformation" thing.  I'm still trying to move forward with those goals, but I need to focus on simply remaining sober and not put any extra pressure on myself.  I also given up trying to shake my caffeine habit, though I might give that another whirl during the long Fourth of July weekend.
I've been doing more research on post-acute-withdrawal syndrome.  According to one resource, the most common symptoms are:  Mood swings, Anxiety, Irritability, Tiredness, Variable energy, Low enthusiasm, Variable concentration and Disturbed sleep.  All of which I have in spades.  Apparently, it will take a long time for my brain to heal from the damage I've inflicted upon it, as much as two years to be symptom-free.  (Assuming I can maintain sobriety for all that time...)  So that means I only have to wait another 23 months of being a complete train wreck and emotional basket case.

Actually, I'm glad to learn about this condition.  It gives me perspective and gives me hope, and with any luck, I'll use the information to keep from relapsing.  The main reason I gave up my last long stretch of sobriety was that I was so angry about the return of serious depression, even after all of my hard work of not drinking, eating well and exercising.  Now I know I'll have to expect that for the foreseeable future.  I can look forward to the good patches getting longer and longer, but I'm still going to have days where the bottom drops out of my mood for no reason.

The Kindness of Strangers

In truth, I've kind of leveled out today (finally!), but the weekend was difficult.  I went to bed at 9 p.m. on Saturday night because I just didn't know what the hell to do with myself.  I did receive a couple of positives from people I've never met that helped me along.  A stranger who's actually read this blog more than once e-mailed me some kind words that were well-received and a nice gesture.

I was also watching a stand-up video by Chris Hardwick (who apparently grew up in the same city and at about the same time as I did).  While cyberstalking doing background research on him on Wikipedia, I found a link to his personal website where he talks about giving up drinking and encourages others struggling with alcoholism to do the same.  So that was well-timed as well.