I think the clouds finally began to clear today. My anger and anxiety levels have reduced, as I hoped they would. I decided to say the step 3 and the step 7 prayer when I got up this morning, for the first time in weeks. It oddly seemed to help. I remembered someone saying the other day that praying took some of their fear away – it was a newcomer, actually – so I tried it, despite part of me thinking I know better by now. I felt some residual fear and anger from the weekend during the morning and most of the afternoon, but then I forced myself to engage in what I would consider ‘healthy routines’, such as reading and writing, and by the evening my head was reasonably normal again. I headed into town for the step meeting, arrived early and sat in Starbucks for a while reading my latest library rental. I spent the entire summer doing that kind of thing, and it was nice to have the energy and the money to do it again. I went to the meeting and made the tea like I always do, not especially resentful like I would have been if it was yesterday. So, I suppose this means that a depression has passed.
If I was to apply the program to this whole experience, I might ask myself what I’ve learnt from it. Easy question: I’ve learnt that I still have issues around sexual and emotional intimacy. I still lean towards self isolation when things are bad, I have huge anger issues and my sobriety is as fragile as it was when I was a week sober. I don’t want to drink any more, so my chances of reaching sixteen months this weekend are currently higher than they have been for a while. What worries me is that last week happened at all. I was absolutely insane for a week, ready to give up on AA and life. That’s not supposed to happen to someone who’s sixteen months sober and practising the steps.
I know that it could easily happen again at some point, which really sucks. Life is still life – even if I had a job and money and a loving boyfriend my moods would probably still get wildly out of control at the drop of a hat. This is what frightens me, the fact that I am so at the mercy of my emotions to this day. I couldn’t have stopped last week from happening if I’d wanted to. When the darkness comes on me like that, that’s it, all bets are off. Fair enough, that was the worst I’ve felt in sobriety and I might not feel quite so awful for another year or two. But with my head, it’s almost certain to happen again eventually. I’m not sure if the steps will ever solve this existential dilemma of mine. Perhaps therapy will, but it could take years. All I know is, I have to stay sober to have any chance of getting better. I don’t particularly like the thought of sitting out another week like that without any chemical help, but I have to take heart from the fact that I’ve just done it and I’m still sober. It doesn’t seem great now but maybe it will in time.