Tag Archives: recovery

Early sobriety and embracing anxiety

I am 36 days in to my sobriety. And I am fucking struggling. Not with my abstinence. I don’t want to drink. I am struggling with my emotions. In particular, my anxiety.

Quite frankly, I am not coping. I hate admitting that to myself, let alone writing it on here, admitting it to you. I feel frustrated, angry, resentful even, that I can’t cope when others seem to take things in their stride.

The worst part is that I wasn’t expecting this. I’ve challenged myself to temporary sobriety in the past and I found it relatively easy. No big deal. So when, on Thursday 14th July, I made the decision to be sober for life, I thought it would be the same.

Yet here I am, surprised by the constant anxiety I’m experiencing. It is wearing me down. I am exhausted. Every single day, every minute of the day, I am anxious.

I wake up anxious.
I am anxious about having enough time to eat mindfully.
I am anxious about making the train to work on time.
I am anxious about reaching my desk for 9am on the dot.
I am anxious about what I’ll eat.
About what I shouldn’t eat (I also have huge food issues. Also exhausting).
I am anxious about doing a good job at work.
I am anxious about not forgetting to do something at work.
I am anxious about getting told off for forgetting to do something at work.
I am anxious about not being an asshole.
About upsetting someone.
About being assertive (massive struggles here).
About knowing what to say.
How to be.
I am anxious about sitting next to someone on the train on the way home.
I am anxious about asking someone to take their bag off the empty seat on the packed train so I can sit down.
I am anxious about them putting the armrest down between our seats because I don’t like it but feel too awkward to say anything (I hate conflict).
I am anxious about going to sleep on time.
I am anxious about getting enough sleep.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night so anxious, that I’m holding my breath.

I am anxious the whole fucking time. Is that coming across at all?

ride the tempestuous waves of anxiety

And it’s doubly surprising as, over the last three years, I’ve not drunk that much, nor that regularly. And I didn’t feel anxious then. So what’s this all about?

I believe it’s because I’m slowly, but surely, peeling away the layers of pain. Hurt. Grief. Worry. Stress. Addictions. Childhood trauma. As each layer comes off, a new issue, trauma, feeling is uncovered. And I have uncovered anxiety.

“There’s no way around grief and loss: you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left.”
Johnny Cash

My old pattern would be to numb. And I confess, I am numbing, albeit to a lesser degree than previously. I’ve started smoking again, as for me, it holds less power than my alcohol, food, drama, or people addictions.

According to Johnny Cash, there is no way around grief and loss, you have to go into it and through it.  I believe the same is true for all emotions, including anxiety. Buddhists advocate leaning into our emotions. To be fully present with them. To really experience them.  What you resist persists.

That is my challenge.

My old self doesn’t WANT to feel this. But the new me tells me to submerge myself in the murky waters. To ride this tempestuous wave. And I will come out the other end stronger. Healed. It may take a while and I need to accept that. But eventually, when I’ve healed from what I need to heal from, this too shall pass.

And so my anxiety is a gift. It is a door to something beautiful. It will allow me to access the next layer, whatever that might be. Eventually I’ll have stripped away all my layers and I will come back to me. To my core. My inner self. My glorious wonderful self. Where she will have been waiting for me all along.

Onwards, and upwards, and inwards. I will keep fighting, looking my anxiety straight in the eye. In the name of my recovery.

Unapologetically determined to heal. My recovery, a promise and a few pledges.

tree with pretty white flowers

This post is about me outing myself and getting real. Real with myself, real with you, and real about my intentions for this blog.  These are all things that I have been struggling with. I may well continue to struggle with the first two, but the last one not so much. I’m finally clear on what I want this space to be about: my recovery.

So here’s me outing myself. There are three reasons why I’ve not posted on here for a while. First, I had been comparing it to professional blogs that have a beautiful layout, are full of beautiful imagery, and are more creative. Mine looks like an A-level project. Black, visually unappealing and dull. The second reason is fear. I was too scared to show up fully and to reveal myself. To be truly vulnerable. I didn’t feel ready. I was embarrassed and feared that people may judge or reject me. I wasn’t ready to deal with either of those eventualities. I was coming from a place of ego. Acting from a place of fear rather than a place of love. Finally, I lacked clarity. I had no idea what I was trying to achieve with this blog, not really. I didn’t know what message I wanted to share. Yes, I had already been awakened and I wanted to document my progress, but I felt like something was missing. That last piece of the jigsaw, which was nowhere to be found.

So I abandoned my blog and ignored it for 8 months. Pretended it didn’t exist. I told myself that I’ll just wait until my annual subscription finishes and then it will disappear into the online ether. Like it never existed. Like it wasn’t another thing that I hadn’t completed. Yes, I was in denial. The worst part is that I silenced the voice within that was so desperate to be heard. I suffocated my calling. My happiness.

Well, as of today I am going to tell my ego to go screw itself. I’m done with playing small, with second guessing myself. I’m done with not giving things a shot. No regrets. I’m discarding the ego’s veil and I offer myself up to God’s plan, whatever that may be. What He has in store for me I have no idea. And that’s OK. I am letting go of the need to control this. And let’s be honest, being in control hasn’t worked for me so far. So I’m releasing myself from the shackles of control and allowing a sense of lightness. Curiosity. Experimentation. I don’t need to know where this will go. All I know is that this feels right.

The clarity I was lacking has come to me in the last couple of weeks. Not through pressure, or strategising, or picking a topic based on my chosen target audience. It has evolved naturally. It’s come from my heart. I’m finally ready to face my darkest demons. The murky, gungy, sticky past that I had so desperately tried to ignore.  But it won’t go away and it’s kept me chained in my own personal hell. The freedom and joy that I am yearning for will come once I’ve had the courage to go into the dark places. Well, I’m feeling courageous, so bring it on. And this is what I’m going to share with you. My recovery. All parts of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

african_sunrise

Consider this as the first step in me doing just that. I will be opening up to you. Vulnerable. Raw. I invite you to join me on a bumper ride of discovery and recovery. To follow my progress and successes. My fails and falls. And you’ll see me brushing myself off and getting back up again. I refuse to let my past get the better of me. I am a survivor and a fighter. I believe we all deserve a magnificent life, one full of passion. A vibrant life where we feel fully alive. We are fireworks ready to explode in our sparkling glory.

So who cares if my blog looks amateurish? What I write is so much more important than how it looks. To not get my message out, and perhaps help someone else along the way, for superficial and egotistical reasons would be me living small. That’s not beautiful. That’s judgemental and coming from a place of fear. Hiding behind the mask of perfectionism. I’ve lived behind a mask most of my life. No more. I have taken it off and stamped on it. Rather vigorously and angrily. It now lays on the floor shattered into a million pieces. No way back. This is who I am. Meet Karrie. No BS. No apologies. You either like me, or you don’t. That’s OK. If I don’t resonate with you, don’t read my blog or follow my journey. I am unapologetically me. Unapologetically loud. Unapologetically eccentric. Unapologetically sensitive. Unapologetically naive. Unapologetically angry. Unapologetically broken. Unapologetically determined to heal. I’m diving into the dark, murky places in service of my higher self.

I’m going to do that both on here, and on YouTube. This is my way of getting accountability. A promise. I will share my message, no matter what. I don’t care how amateur my blog may look or my videos may be. I don’t care what I look like on camera. I don’t care if I can’t look directly at the camera (which, by the way, is harder than you might think). I am dedicated to documenting my journey. 100% all in. Committed.

vibrant_flower

And you know what? This blog is a work in progress. Just like me. Perhaps it is even a part of my journey. The evolution of my blog may be a reflection of my own evolution. As my inner beauty unfolds, so will the beauty of my blog.

So let me pledge the following:

  1. I pledge to rekindle this blog.
  2. I pledge to write from my heart. Real. Raw. No masks involved.
  3. I pledge to start a YouTube channel. A video documentary of my journey.

Hop on board and enjoy the ride.

In all my loud, eccentric and crazy glory,

Karrie xo