I’d been battling constant fatigue, energy swings, inability to focus for long periods of time, or sometimes at all—as though there was a thin, cloudy film around my brain—for too long. A month ago, I decided to go grain and sugar-free, and it worked.
I’ve become fairly obsessed with sleep in recent years. Since getting sober, sleep has become a true spiritual practice for me. It’s a daily, practical practice that I take as sacred and imperative to my sanity. It is probably my number one self-care practice and a total non-negotiable. With that, I bring you seven things that have brought me better sleep.
I remember so looking forward to drinking again once I had her. I missed the release, the inclusion, the socializing, the softening. Almost immediately after she was born I went back to it, joining in at parties with my husband and baby in tow, having my girlfriends over or going to their house for wine like we had been doing for years. One time, just a couple weeks after she was born, I walked in a snowstorm to my friend’s place a few blocks away, just to try and feel like my “old” self for a few minutes. I barely drank one glass of wine before I felt so ill I had to trek home. I had mastitis.
I mean, you know that commercial with the staples button that says "that was easy.” Getting sober is the hardest-best thing ever, but is there ever a time when you can hit cruise control and sit back and enjoy it? I know I'll never get to push that staples button, but can I at least get one that says, "It's getting easier?”
This is basically the reason I started to drink in the first place, and I’m pretty sure it’s the reason people have drank since the beginning of time: to feel more comfortable in their skin. Now, they probably didn’t quite use that language while sitting around the fire or dinner table or watering hole (I’m sorry, I have to pause here: imagine Jesus saying to Luke, I don’t know, I just feel so…uncomfortable in my own skin sometimes, man.) but that’s why. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions and smooths the chatter of our minds and some of our minds are really, really loud and mean.
I struggle with other "non-substance" addictions. I'm constantly worrying about who likes or doesn't like me, if I am attractive or thin enough, if I am a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend. It's consuming and I liken it very much to an addiction to alcohol, pills whatever. You're blogs have made me cry because they resonate. I'm trying to realize it's "ok" to fail or be imperfect, but it's been almost 37 years of thinking it's not ok to be these things.
I’ve had low-mid grade level depression since my 20’s. I started anti-depressants eight years ago. It finally occurred to me that I went on the anti-depressant when I was drinking quite a bit and upped my dose when I was drinking a lot. So I talked with my doctor and she agreed it was a good time to try to wean off. Under her care, I’m slowly tapering off. Two more weeks and I’m off completely. I believe many people definitely need and benefit from anti-depressants, but I needed to see how I could do without them. Have you/do you struggle with depression? If so, how do you cope?