She lived a decent life (Day 3)

The things that I could do today to bring me joy are:

1. Sitting and reading with my kids at a random time of day (i.e. not just before bedtime)
2. Going for a run
3. Getting a few rows into my crochet blanket

Ok, maybe “joy” is farfetched but these things would bring me contentment and satisfaction, and a feeling of a life well-lived. This is what I think is a big, gaping hole on my drinking days, and sort of mirrors the concept of mediocrity that plagues me. Drinking days waste my life. They waste time while I’m doing it, and they waste time the next day while I recover and am less than good as I live my life. 

I know the first couple weeks require a lot of gentleness on my part: no pressure to do too much or to start losing weight. Really, I just keep people fed and not get fired, which is easy considering how little I’m working in COVID times anyway! 

The thing is, I used to think drinking brought me joy. I know now that drinking brought me sedation and the absence of stress and pain. This is NOT the same as joy. As my drinking evolved, I started recognizing that while the sedation of it was pleasant at the time, it brings about a disproportionate amount of unpleasantness on the back end. 

What a sad reflection that would be on my life if I didn’t end up stopping drinking: “she lived a life where she didn’t feel a lot of pain or stress.” Uh, BORING. That does not sound like how I’d like my obituary to read. “She gave life her best and was fully present for all its ups and downs.” Much better legacy, and more realistic than “she lived life full throttle and on her own terms” which I don’t think any of us really can or want to do!

What brings you joy? Or at least brings you satisfaction of a day decently-lived, which may be more attainable than joy! 🙂

14 thoughts on “She lived a decent life (Day 3)

  1. I feel joy when my day feels productive. Not necessarily manic but just that I’ve achieved something. Like you some crocheting, adding pieces to my jigsaw. Cleaning that cupboard I’ve been putting off. But also wine is/was something that brought me joy. It seems to round off the day, it was a shared experience with husband over a meal and music and now there’s a void, food seems bland, nights drag. But I know that if I can get past it life will be more joyful and have much more purpose. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, one guidebook I read encourages people to have MAPs in early sobriety (Meaningfully Absorbing Projects). We have so much free time that we used to fill drinking and we need something valuable to reach for when we’re bored instead of reaching for booze!

      Like

  2. Great post. Much of what you say will resonate to us ex drinkers. Finding joy? It’s often in the “ordinary “ , the things that are already there but we often didn’t really see. My current thing is looking at every plant in my garden every day. Love it! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a great point! The kids and I stopped by the roadside today to pick wildflowers and it was only once we were out amongst them that I realized what I thought was just one type of yellow bloom was actually four different kinds. Amazing!

      Like

  3. Walking through a woodsy area by myself. It’s my exercise and chance to clear my head. Also is a great stress reliever. Walking (power walking … I blew out my knees from too much running) kept me sane as I learned how to handle stress without the drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have you watched the TED talk on gray area drinking? I’d have to look up the speaker’s name, but she cites evidence that being in nature actually increases positive neurotransmitter activity. It’s not just a feeling, it’s a real phenomenon!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 🙂 yes, one of the biggest challenges for me was learning that there ARE other sources of joy in life. (i.e. hence the title of my blog “there is more to life than just beer”… cause honestly, that had turned into the ONLY think I really enjoyed). For the short term quick fix I have unfortunately reverted to sugar. but for real joy (which is also contentment), being in nature, in the sun, feeling the cool splash of water on skin, the breeze in the wind, etc. and moments of CONNECTION. For me it involves slowing down and really paying attention to what’s around me: taking the time to notice things. It’s hard work though 🙂 xxx Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know what joy and happiness were when I got sober. It was “suggested” I do at least one thing each day (even if it is just staying sober). That is how I started my own sober routine. I stayed sober by bringing accomplishments into my life no matter how small. For a while, just staying sober one day was a big enough goal to handle for me. You can do this; many of us were where you are and many of us are supporting you. You’re doing a great job.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s