I went to a women’s AA meeting tonight in which someone brought up the idea that perhaps there was some strength or wisdom that she might have grown into in her early 20’s, as most of us do a lot of growing at that time, that maybe she somehow missed out on because she was drinking at the time. I can relate to this… I’ve often wondered of myself if there was some period of “growing up” that was covered up by my use of alcohol in difficult situations, in awkward social settings,etc.
I think that a bit of denial is a good thing to have here, as I am trying to reconcile the path that I am on now with the many paths that I could have taken back then. I keep reminding myself that I am where I need to be right now, and there is still plenty of time to continue to grow, in whatever way I choose.
It’s true, though, that new sobriety has it’s moments of doubt… am I doing this right? Is there some secret wisdom or level of comfort that I should have, but don’t? I try really hard not to beat myself up about what might have been. I certainly would not be the person that I am today without the previous struggles with alcohol. And I certainly have learned a lot and grown a lot in the past 10 months with regard to my body and my health.
A lot of this denial line of thinking comes from being reminded by my mom that I only had a 50/50 chance of making it through the big surgery in June, and I came out of that okay. As each week goes by, I get stronger, and yet more impatient… I want to feel PERFECT, now, damn it! I get more antsy to have things be put behind me as I start to feel a little bit better. Unfortunately, I still have those “flat-on-my-ass” days that put me back in the perspective that I still have a lot of healing to do. I feel like I am spinning my wheels a bit right now, as we don’t really have any goals on the books for what happens next, but there is a lot that needs to happen to make everything work right. It’s just a matter of figuring out what next? When? Am I strong enough for the next surgery? Will it also help me to keep weight on? Do I need to go to a different hospital for consultation on all of my GI issues, because what if the surgery to fix the liver drains doesn’t solve the stomach issues? Thankfully I have several important doctor appts. In the next couple of weeks that will hopefully lead to some answers about all of this. I am still on TPN (intravenous nutrition at night) and losing weight at the same time, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
But anyway, despite the frustration, unanswered questions, and endless appointments, I am feeling a lot stronger. I’m working around 20 hours a week, which seems like so little in theory, but in reality it’s the most I can do.
I guess it comes down to a whole lot of little lessons. I’m learning to like being sober and not spending hours in a bar. I enjoy my friends just as much, if not more, when I do feel up to being out and about. It doesn’t bother me to be at bars, which is good… I worried that I’d be uncomfortable or jealous around people drinking. That hasn’t been a problem, and most of my friends who do drink are incredibly respectful and still a hell of a lot of fun to be around. I am lucky in that respect. I love being invited to get out and shop, or go for tea or dinner or a movie, but I also like getting out to old haunts once in a while to touch base with people. Maybe I am catching up on all that growing that should have happened when I was 20 something? I don't know what the right path should have been, but I do sort of know what path I am on right now, and it seems as good a place to be as any.