Just like that, my mood can change. Usually after a good night's sleep, or even a nap, my curmudgeonliness can flip to joy and easy smiles.
The weather around my parts changed yesterday. It has been too hot and humid way past summer. Finally, the weather broke and cooled off and dried up. Thank god.
The weather affects our moods so dramatically. I don't mind rain. In fact, I like it. I like a good storm, too. Sunlight is delightful. Even heat for a little while. But incessant heat and humidity day after day, month after month was beyond oppressive. I can't take it anymore.
Alcohol has been beyond oppressive in my life, my body, mind and soul, too. I may not have control over the weather but I do have control over whether or not I will drink. Whatever it takes to get me to not pick up, I'll do it.
For some, it's doing the twelve steps and going to meetings. I think that the steps are great though I have a hard time with meetings and have had hard turns with sponsors. Of course, they've all only been people steering themselves away from alcohol and trying to help others do the same. There is nothing wrong with that. Me, I need a toolbox full of options.
I find that the main thing is to be with sober people. To be with people, period. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Isolation is death. Community is life.
Now this is tough when you're an oversensitive creature like myself who works independently for the most part and really needs downtime, alone.
But as with everything, we have to find a happy medium. One hot and humid day is balanced nicely by one that's cool and dry. One day of itchy mind and crawling skin is relieved by a good night's sleep and a relaxing day.
Variety makes the world turn. Day. Night. Light. Dark. Rain clouds. Sunny blue skies.
The trick is to ride the wave of weather, the emotional swings, and to appreciate the journey and find joy in being alive, breathing, and the wonder of it all.
You need more sleep.
That's the name of a book on the shelf in my bathroom. It's a bunch of good advice to humans from cats. Plus, it's well written and funny and who doesn't need a good laugh now and then.
A lot of people experience problems sleeping in early recover. I certainly did. It's a problem because we really, really need both sleep and rest in general while we're recovering.
Have you ever been so tired that you cannot sleep? That's how I felt at least through the first ten days without alcohol. Like the walking dead. Though some things would revive me like talking, walking, swimming, and other activities that forced my lungs into motion.
It did not help the quality or quantity of my sleep that I continued to drink coffee and that I binge watched just about anything on my laptop and iPhone when I climbed into bed. I kept telling myself, one thing at a time. However, my nervous system (amongst other things) needed healing from the coffee and screen time almost as much as the alcohol.
When you decide to start your healing journey, refer to this brief sleep check list to help you get the much needed sleep and rest that your body, mind and soul need to recover.
Things to help you sleep.
Prepare to be brainwashed!
Did you know that, with a good night's sleep, your brain is actually washed? I forget where I first heard that but don't take my word for it, read this NPR article.
I'll bet you've had that common experience of going to bed with a problem and waking up with the solution. Well, that's a perfect example of it all coming out in the wash. The brain wash! (Just writing about it makes me want to conk out right now.)
Allow yourself to fall into dream land. Look forward to it. Breathe deeply and release the weight of the world. It's not your's to carry.
Everything will look different in the morning.
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