sober lifestyle

Change

I woke up this morning with heart pounding, my body finally catching up to the realities my brain had begun processing over the previous 24 hours.

What the $&@% did I get myself into?!?

No, I did not relapse. But it’s something almost as terrifying.

I received an offer letter for the marketing job that I applied for on a whim back in February and went through an emotional roller coaster of four interviews and a writing test to pursue…and I agreed to accept the position.

😳😳😳😳

Yeah. So, April 2021 is only one day old as I sit down to write this, and already it’s one of the biggest months of my life.

Within the next few weeks, I will turn 43, leave one job where I work remotely to start another where I have to report to an office five days a week, register for my first semester of grad school classes, and…

Well, let’s not even talk about the sober “anniversary” I’ve already circled on the kitchen calendar (would you believe Day 660 of freedom from alcohol is also Day One for the new job?!), because part of me is kind of freaked out, wondering how all this change will affect my recovery. 🤯

OK, so all of me is a little freaked out about having to leave my comfort zone.

I’ve been cozied up in a little bubble of stretchy leggings, hoodies, long midday walks, 12-step meetings every Thursday at 6 and early bedtimes every night — not to mention these weekend wee-hour blogging sessions — since I took my current job back in June 2020, right before I hit one year sober.

That bubble is about to 💥 in a big way.

Of course, it’s just like me to focus on the potential obstacles up ahead on my path — and get myself all agitated thinking about them — when the road sign where I’m standing says: “THIS WAY TO OPPORTUNITY, ADVENTURE, GROWTH, PROGRESS…AND, NOT FOR NOTHING, A PAY RAISE! ➡️”

My road signs are a touch on the verbose side.

But I shouldn’t lose sight of the headline here: I GOT A NEW JOB.

There’s not a sweeter sentence in the world, if you’ve been on the hunt for any stretch of time. Simply shutting off the Indeed and Glassdoor and LinkedIn notifications for “Copywriter” and “Content Marketing Specialist” that have flooded my inbox and overwhelmed my psyche for five months is a gigantic relief. I clicked “APPLY” on probably 20 of those postings…which isn’t much at all, but believe me when I tell you that applying for jobs is my least favorite thing in the world 🤮, so the fact that I did something, rather than just scrolling through and letting negative emotions consume me, should be considered a “win.”

Life presented me with a chance to act, and I acted. I went beyond acting…I actually dug in and did the required legwork and followed through until the end, fighting off fear and self-doubt and a raging case of Imposter Syndrome along the way.

Behold the miracles of sobriety, y’all. They are REAL.

It’s a miracle I even came upon this particular job opportunity. Indeed sent me ONE email in a sea of spam that jumped out: “Based on your qualifications, a small local company encourages you to apply for this social media copywriter/coordinator position.”

Within minutes, I had sent in my resume and contacted the hiring manager on LinkedIn to introduce myself. Within hours, I had my first phone interview lined up.

About a month later, I was signing an acceptance form and background check authorization, and typing out a resignation letter.

(Side note: The fact that a recovering alcoholic with 20 years of bad decisions behind her does NOT have to worry about the results of a background check is another miracle, and believe me, I’m saying prayers of thanks for it. 🙏🏻)

This will be my second job change in less than two years of sobriety. Both changes, while packed with plenty of daunting challenges, have been chances to better my situation and get closer to a place where I earn what I’m worth and get treated like I, and my experience and skills, matter. What an amazing blessing!

I don’t want to go into too much detail about why I was on the job hunt, but it’s a situation very much like the end of my journalism career back in 2018. Or, you could even liken it to the end of my drinking career in 2019. It’s a stirring in your gut that grows so strong you can actually visualize: two roads diverged in the proverbial wood of your life, and one — the familiar one you’ve grown used to — clearly leads to a dead end, while the “road less traveled” — the uncertain, scary one shrouded in fog — offers the possibility of better, brighter days.

You have no idea what you’ll find on the second road, but something deep inside is telling you to pivot and start walking.

Change is terrifying, but it’s nothing compared to staying stuck, circling the drain. Or worse, letting fear of change drive you straight down that familiar road and off a cliff.

I’m really scared right now, you guys. There is no doubt about it. My heart has not stopped pounding in the two hours I’ve been awake. I have no idea what to expect from this new chapter, and there is nothing more uncomfortable for a tightly-wound Type A control freak than that.

Good thing I am 21 months sober, or I guarantee this fear would eat me alive!

Sobriety has taught me, or at least started to teach me, that where there is fear and uncertainty, there is fertile ground for amazing growth. Those “roads less traveled” are where miracles happen, and I’m so humbled that it nearly brings me to my knees when I realize…

They are currently happening…to me!

2 thoughts on “Change”

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