I is for It Gets Easier
I just turned forty-three. It is not how I expected at all. It is so much better. In all my years of drinking I always saw pain and destruction as my future. I simply assumed that things were shitty and would probably just get worse so why not just have another drink. Life sucks anyway I might as well enjoy it. That was my attitude for pretty much my entire life. Even in the early days of sobriety that kind of thinking was still there.
If I have to think back to when it all began to change it has to be July 6th, 2017. I had been sober for two years at this point. I had just quit a job I hated with a little bit of savings and no plan. This was terrifying and also liberating. I had always felt trapped and chained to a paycheck. For six whole months I was free to spend my days doing whatever I wanted. This might seem like a recipe for boredom, relapse and disaster. I would eventually get another job I hated and quit that six months later. That initial quitting without complete failure gave a real sense of confidence that I could not have learned any other way. It is a leap of faith I never would have taken were I not sober and in recovery. This was also the year I started to exercise regularly. What started out with light walks and boring bouts on the exercise bike would ultimately lead to me finishing a half marathon some 16 months later. There was now momentum. The commitment to myself and my health brought on more confidence. I now felt I had the ability to earn a living in a manner and on a schedule that worked for me instead of against me.
I still struggle with self-image and self-worth. I still go on interviews for jobs I don't particularly want. I still deal with economic insecurities and debt. Even through all these minor tragedies of daily life I come back to two things: Whatever it is it is going to pass and I am going to be okay. So when anxiety and panic about things that haven't happened yet come creeping in or I feel I haven't done enough today I use those tools and others I ave learned in recovery to ease my worry and refocus my efforts on the things I can control and remind myself that it's fine and that if I work on it each day, each day it will get a little bit easier.