I’ve been sleeping very poorly for the last couple nights because of a chest/sinus infection. But I can’t really say my sleeping has been normal since I got out of treatment. I generally still have to use a non-narcotic sleeping aid to get through the night. But, the last couple of nights have been unbearable with the congestion.
I also had another using dream last night – the second one in a week. I’m learning to listen to what that’s telling me about what I’m experiencing and feeling. I’m heading home today after visiting my sister and her family. I had a great visit – but I know I have to hit the job search even harder when I get home. That creates a bunch of anxiety, anger and resentment. I have made a couple applications and have my resume updated. But my heart’s not in it. I’m still wondering a little about what direction I should be heading now. I just don’t know what I want to do next for sure. I think that is causing me to be stressed and restless.
I’ve also been VERY obsessed about some legal matters that are resulting from my discharge. These are indirect to my actual case and arrest. As such, it should NOT be my primary focus or concern. Yet one night at my sister’s, I woke up and couldn’t put the matter out of my head. I tossed and turned and mulled over angles for two hours. I finally got up – wrote some stuff down – and was able to get some rest. This matter can easily lead to more anger and resentment. I don’t need to be obsessing about this. The fact that I’m not “more worried” about my direct case and my job search is a bit concerning to a certain extent! So, I’m trying to put that aside.
Being away from home…being sick… What little routine I do have is off. So I can understand where this is all coming from – the stress, the more frequent using dreams. And after last night’s dream, I woke up and was in tears. I felt scared, lonely, tired, worn out. I started to think about the next couple of days and it started to get overwhelming.
I did the only thing I knew to do at that point (apart from call someone, but I didn’t think it warranted a call at 2am!). I got down on my knees and started to pray. I asked my Higher Power to take this away. I needed to turn it over and let Him take care of this — Let Go and Let God! I know even now that this whole situation will work out and I’ll be far better off for it — I know it’s a blessing. But, going through the valley, it’s hard for me sometimes to keep that perspective…particularly when I don’t know how long I’ll be in the valley! It’s kind of like when you go on a road trip – at least in my experience. The ride there always seems longer than coming home because there are a lot of unknowns; you don’t know how long it’s going to take. Coming home, you’ve already been down the road and you know what to expect!
I was listening to a podcast on the way home today along these lines. The guys was talking about a period in his life where he had a lot of ups and downs. He wondered out loud…“If an up period came out of the down period, then was it really a down period?” I know that there will be an amazing up period — an amazing result from all of this change and relative hardship. And I know that at some point, my life will stabilize and I won’t be on such an emotional roller coaster. I’ll be more comfortable with my feelings and will be able to manage them more consistently. It’s just getting there!
In the same podcast, I was reminded — working through a strong initial foundation of recovery is easily a an 18 month to 2 year period. It takes time to get through the challenges in early recovery and develop new thinking and behaviors. Getting those to be consistent takes time and practice. It doesn’t happen in 90 days! On the practical side, too, there is a whole settling in to new jobs, living situation, etc. that takes time apart from the inner growth. So, in a way – this is a great reminder to be patient, to let go. It reminds me that I’m not in control, I can’t figure it all out or predict what’s next. I have to keep trying things, and talking with folks around me, and praying, and listening. I have to act – I can’t just be waiting for things to happen. But I can’t craft the answer or control the outcome. It’s just finding that balance.
The using dreams are just my body’s way of going back to what it knows best – what’s easiest…to escape, to run, to hide, to mask the fears and uncertainty. But, when I’m awake, I know I don’t have to do that anymore. I can face life. I can face the uncertainty. I can face the challenges. I don’t know the outcome or the plan — but I know that everything that has happened got me here, where I need to be. Why would that be any different going forward?!