You know what? Sometimes I’m just not. Feeling. It.
Sometimes, I get tired and bored with talking about trauma and recovery, and I feel very little gratitude for my sobriety or even enthusiasm about it all. I remember old-timers in AA telling me to write down all the things that I was grateful for whenever I’d get “bad” attitude and the lists were long – I had a lot to be thankful for. And it would often help, to see it all written down right there in front of my eyes. There are even apps for it today to make this exercise less tedious.
But sometimes I cannot even bring myself to think of writing such a list. As an addictions professional I am expected – and I expect that of myself – to always act like recovery is the best thing in the world – and indeed it is, but there are moments when I’m simply a little fatigued and need a break.
Not a break from recovery, but a break from being and having to be a certain way. The truth is I’m just like everybody else – I cannot be ON all the time. And what I’m realizing is that I can allow myself to step down for a breather – and this is my message to all of you as well: We cannot be 100 per cent all the time, and it’s okay to check out for a moment or a few.
I’m always going to be grateful for my sobriety, and I am always going to be diligent about it, and me checking out doesn’t mean I’m romanticizing drinking again. It just means that I can take some time to acknowledge just how hard it is to be this diligent, and how hard it is, too, to feel grateful, especially when I’m physically or mentally exhausted. I do very simple breathing meditation to recharge and I make sure I spend some good downtime whenever I can during holidays and days off. It’s important. My recovery is important, my meetings are important, but so is my time off.
Just because we are in recovery, it doesn’t mean that we have to constantly rave about it. There are many times when I don’t feel particularly elated about being sober. Maybe this is because it’s been so long, but I don’t mind the moments when I forget that RECOVERY is such a massive part of my life and I don’t mind the times when I believe I feel exactly as many human beings feel, which is … normal.
I know those reprieves from being a Person-in-Recovery should remain brief, and they’re more like vacations, not permanent residences. They’re not at all where I want to be, as I am too passionate about what I do professionally and about the sober life I have, but I try to never be too hard on myself for being gentle with myself. And if being gentle with myself means Not. Feeling. It… then so be it.
If you’re in the place where you get too overwhelmed, don’t ignore it – honor it. Take a moment to breathe, to walk away, to step outside of your role. It’s part of self-care and it’s important. You don’t want to get to the point where you start to feel so fatigued you can’t feel passionate about what you do.
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