This Emotion Is An Ocean

Yesterday I had my weekly therapy appointment, or so I thought. Apparently our wires were crossed, and I ended up sitting alone in the waiting area well past my appointment time. It definitely threw me for a loop! I was meeting a friend post-appointment at the bar across the street, so I headed over there early.

My brain was firing at high-speed as I stood outside of the bar, which was closed. I had a flashback to 2007. when I had started seeing a therapist after an awful break-up.  I used to leave work and walk to my appointment early. I would settle myself in at the bar across the street (different therapist and different bar than my current situation) and I’d order two double vodka sodas and play pool until it was time to meander across the street. He and I never talked about ME and alcohol, it was mostly about my ex. Now I wonder if he knew I was tipsy. Could he smell the vodka? Was he disgusted?!

Had this same situation occurred in 2007, I would have left the waiting area, gone back to the bar and gotten DRUNK. I would have called friends to come meet me for Happy Hour and I would have pretended that I hadn’t left work early and been drinking by myself all afternoon. I would have cancelled any upcoming therapy appointments and quit going altogether.

Eight years later, and with 210 sober days behind me, I can say with confidence that I will not quit. It turns out that he had me on his calendar for Thursday, and I had him on my calendar for Wednesday. Big deal. Although, for the sake of being honest, I was definitely ‘off’ for the rest of the evening and without the warm blanket of alcohol to make me feel better.

I’m struggling with FEELING things – even now, so many days after quitting drinking. In the past, when something made me feel ‘off’, I would drink. The hazy shade of alcohol made everything seem better. I’ve been trying to find a replacement for that, but my brain tends to grasp at old straws.

Are you feeling anxious? Remember, you can cut. 

You’re angry? Skip dinner. Do 100 jumping jacks instead.

Replacing the unhealthy with unhealthy! This is clearly a recipe for disaster. I am feeling worn out; exhausted by these things I thought I’d figured out. I quit drinking because I felt like I was self destructing, but here I sit, more than 6 months sober, and those feelings are still present. I’m not sure things will ever be “figured out”, but here’s hoping I can decipher how to emotionally feel, instead of forcing those emotions into physical feelings. If that makes any sense!

I’m at a loss on how to end this because I don’t want it to sound depressing! I suppose it doesn’t really matter if it sounds depressing, however, because I am depressed. I am depressed, but I am actively working on it. I can do this. We can do this. There is life beyond alcoholism, eating disorders and self-harm and I intend to live it.


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