So yeah, the other day I was on cloud nine as you could tell from my happy post. Things were feeling just right with the world. As I suppose is to be expected, yesterday was a whole different story.
I’m heading out of town next weekend for a conference, and had booked my flight for Thursday since that was a cheaper option than flying out on Friday and I wanted a day to explore the city anyway. All good. Except that I had somehow completely forgotten that I have an important court hearing on Thursday, with witnesses who are expected to testify, that I can’t reschedule, and that’s been on the calendar for well over a month! Hello?? How could I have forgotten about this? I mean, I hadn’t forgotten about the hearing, but somehow my brain failed to compute that it was that day, when I was purchasing my plane ticket. I’m telling you, this brain fog I’m experiencing is no joke. A couple days ago my dad asked, “Hey, did you guys get a workout in yesterday?” And my mind was suddenly completely and totally blank as to what I’d done the day before. I couldn’t even call up a reference point from my previous day with which to unravel whether I’d worked out or not. It was only hours later that it came to me that I had gone to yoga. WTH??
So I got up in a BAD mood, because I knew I’d have to pay to change the ticket. I also knew that this meant if I wanted to arrive in time to play around on Friday that I’d probably have to take a redeye. Which I do. (Insert tiny violin playing here.) All in all the mistake cost me $377. Ouch. The cost of brain fog. I think what’s bothering me more though, is that this hearing I have to do is something I am Dreading. (See the capital D?) I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place with a difficult judge who is not super willing to hear my arguments, and calling a witness who is angry and uncooperative, all the while knowing that even though we are in the right, we are likely going to lose anyway. And whichever strategy I employ I am not doing it right in someone’s eyes, because the law in unclear in this area.
The amount of stress I’m feeling because of this is off the charts. Figure in the fact that I’m currently in a career change away from the legal field (this case is my last, but it has proven to be difficult and lasting), that I’m trying to stay sober and feel like I need space and less stress not more, and the upcoming procedure to fix my fallopian tube and all the infertility stress that goes along with that, and I felt like a total wreck yesterday. Stomach ache, lethargic, cranky, headache, you name it. Tata, cloud nine from yesterday!
So here’s what I did. We put our great dane in the car and drove out to the coast where we can let her off the leash. I laughed a lot watching her play in the sand even though there were gale force winds out there and we had to retreat after a half hour or so! The drive back was beautiful and I tried to soak it all up. I noticed and consciously thanked God that I was hangover free, because I knew that my anxiety level, as bad as it was, would be a million times worse with a hangover!! Went to one of our favorite Mexican places and had yummy veggie tacos and a root beer (I never allow myself to have soda but for some reason, root beer was calling me and hey, it’s not a real beer, so it’s still a win right?), came home and let myself just lay on the couch and watch TV in the day. (Also something I never allow myself.) It felt good just to give in to my fatigue and wallow for a bit. Later I picked myself up and made myself head out for a jog with my Dane. By the time that was over I felt so much better. Exercise really is amazing for lifting spirits!! Even when my internal voices were complaining the whole first half of the run, by the end I felt rebalanced. Ate some leftovers and got back on the couch until I went to bed.
So what’s the moral of the story here, you ask? I guess what I learned from this is that I can’t expect that I’m going to feel amazing every single day (which is kinda what I was thinking there, on that last post of mine.) I can’t let myself get mad that things don’t seem rosy every day just because I’m sober. I still have to take the ups and downs. I have to breathe. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Every time I thought about drinking yesterday (which wasn’t much actually, but the thoughts were sneaky, typical Sheila thoughts like, “what about next weekend?” and “forever!!!???!!?!?” and “you are fine, you are overreacting with this sober thing, now what have you done, you’ll never have fun again, this is so unnecessary,” and on and on), I just breathed and turned my attention to something else.
I still felt crappy all day. But I woke up today hangover free so that’s something. Something big. As Belle said the other day in an email (quoting another 100 Day Challenger), “Time marches on. Life goes on. With me sober, or with me drinking.” This is so simple but really spoke to me. Do I want to miss the passing of time in a drunken haze or with a hangover, even a mild one? Nope. No room for that anxious paranoia that hangovers give me these days. No room for the unpredictable mood swings that come with drinking. So even if I’m not the kind of drinker who does embarrassing things (I mean, there’ve been my fair share, but it’s not that often), or drinks all day, or blacks out, the effects I feel are negative enough that I want to live a life without them. Because as crappy as I felt yesterday, I know it would have been worse with a hangover. And for that, I’m grateful.
Still on the learn over here.