sober lifestyle

Exhaustion

On Thursday, I overslept and missed my regular weekly recovery meeting.

The meeting starts at 6 PM.

Such is the surreal world I’m living in at 16 months sober. I’m not sure how it happened, but my schedule got completely out of whack —waking up and doing work at 2AM has become the norm — and during the hours I’m actually awake, my energy levels have plummeted so drastically that I literally cannot wait to climb back in bed. I find myself eating dinner at 3PM, drinking “Sleepytime” tea while the school buses are unloading kids outside my window, and thinking it’s morning when my husband comes in the bedroom to announce he’s done with work.

I’m tired, you guys. More tired than I can ever remember feeling.

I think maybe all the fighting has taken its toll.

Fighting triggers. Fighting anxiety. Fighting the side effects of the meds I take for anxiety. Fighting hormonal changes. Fighting fear — of COVID, current events, all the great unknowns in today’s world. Fighting to get a handle on my new job, which I started immediately after leaving the old one, never taking a break to recharge. Fighting to plot out another career path that’s completely different from anything I’ve ever done before and will require more growth than I’ve ever undergone before. Fighting to lose all the weight I gained by using food as a coping mechanism. Consuming too much caffeine and exercising twice a day because those are the only coping mechanisms I have left…

It’s to the point that coffee doesn’t really work the way it used to, and my workouts are getting shorter and shorter.

I’m no doctor, but I think my adrenal glands might be shot. I guess you could say my “fight” response is completely worn down, and by default, I’ve reverted to “flight.”

I feel like I can’t cope with everything that’s going on, so I escape into slumber.

Better than escaping into a bottle. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I mean, bright side: I can sit here today and say I filled up an entire whiteboard with hash marks, which might seem like a booby prize some days — a “trick,” rather than a “treat,” if you will 🎃 — but it’s important to remember what those little red lines represent.

Everyone has a battle to fight; I know I’m not special. It just so happens that beating addiction is the fight of my life. It’s a fight FOR my life, and it is hard work! It is f*cking tiring! And each day I find the energy to not give in, whether I do anything to move forward that day or not, is its own little trophy. A participation trophy, maybe, but way better than what you get for saying “I quit!”

Participating in recovery is part of pursuing a better life, and we all know that can be exhausting. Really, when I think about it, it’s a pretty amazing gift to have a flexible schedule that allows me to get the rest I need, when I need it the most.

It’s also a pretty great blessing to have such a strong support system at home that I can sleep through the occasional meeting and not wake up in danger.

My husband came into the kitchen this morning with a smile on his face, having just finished his workout in the basement, and asked if I wanted him to buy and hang a brand new whiteboard down there. So I have room for another year-plus of marks.

Just seeing him happy and proud of me…

I’ll never, ever get tired of that.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s getting kind of late, and it’s been a long week. Time to light my Yankee candles and start winding down for the night. 😴

⏰😉

2 thoughts on “Exhaustion”

  1. Jen it isn’t helping that we are coming up on the time change and we start to go into hibernation and the so called “seasonal affective disorder “. I dislike this time of year- feel sluggish myself and can relate to this article. If you haven’t had any recent bloodwork maybe you should and get your thyroid checked?!?

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  2. Jen: I am so sorry you’re struggling, but please be so proud of how far you’ve come. I am proud for you — and of what you’ve accomplished. I’m sending hugs and positive thoughts. You rock, my friend.

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