I have to be honest guys, this isolation is starting to get to me. 😳 I love to laugh and make jokes, and I truly believe laughter is the best medicine and it’s been seeing me through this shit show so far, but sometimes I have a tendency to use humor as armor – to mask my true feelings. So right now, I am letting you all know that today, in this moment, I am not feeling ok with this – and that’s ok!
I feel silly complaining, because at the end of the day I am truly grateful for all that I have. I feel lucky. Blessed. I am still employed. My husband and I are both able to work from home and homeschool our daughter. We have food in our cupboards, a roof over our heads, running water, and yet…I still feel genuine anxiety and fear throughout each day. Not ALL day – it ebbs and flows – but it’s enough to cause me to pause.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of feeling uncomfortable feelings like these – I never have been. And quite frankly, it’s one of the main reasons I used to drink – to numb out all things painful and uncomfortable. Learning how to sit in my fear and anxiety – learning how to be “comfortable being uncomfortable” – is still a bit of a struggle for me at times.
Fear and isolation are 2 very dangerous things for any addict – whether they are recovering or not. Hell, they are detrimental to anyone! I might have 5 years of recovery under my belt, but I’ve got decades of addictive thinking still ping ponging around inside my brain. At the end of the day, my worst enemy lives between my own two ears – it always has.
This isolation is something I would have craved 6 years ago. When I was in active addiction, I can assure you I would have been stocking up on liters of vodka, NOT Lysol wipes, food and toilet paper. Vodka! That’s all I would have been worried about. I would have been perfectly fine being hunkered down at home – free from the judgements of society.
My family, however, would have suffered greatly.
In early recovery, I was afraid to leave my house for fear of what I might do. I was afraid I would drink the second I walked out my front door. I couldn’t predict my next movement, let alone trust myself to make it back home sober. That fear was genuine, and when I think back on it I can still feel it today.
Today, I am afraid to leave my house for fear of getting sick, and then bringing that illness back into my home and exposing it to the family that I love. This fear is also genuine, and I have to keep reminding myself that I am doing all the right things in order to stay safe.
The funny thing is that when this all started a couple of weeks ago, I joked with friends about how my goal of “never having to leave my house again” might actually become a reality. I realize today, that I was simply using humor to mask fear. Isolation is not good for me, and I know it. It’s not something I should have been applauding, but that was the coping skill I chose at that moment to get me through the initial panic.
We are all just trying to survive, after all.
I miss structure. I miss normalcy. I miss having any semblance of control over my life.
I am grateful for Zoom meetings with my recovery community, but I also miss hugs from my friends. My friends give THE BEST hugs. 🥰
In a world filled with turmoil and chaos, writing still makes me feel safe. It truly does. And although I may not write something beautiful or inspiring every day, it helps to get the thoughts down on paper – it helps to get them out of my head.
So today, I am going to move forward with my day by practicing a little gratitude!
I am grateful. I am grateful I have the ability to be honest and express my feelings. I am grateful I am sober and that the desire for alcohol has been lifted from me. I am grateful I have family that is staying connected through all of this, and friends who check in on me daily. I am grateful for my coworkers, and the comedic relief they provide me on a daily basis – laughter truly is the best medicine. I am grateful for my health, and the health of my family.
I won’t let fear and anxiety control me. And if you find yourself feeling afraid – your feelings are valid, no matter what anyone tells you. We all express our feelings differently, so this is a time to embrace each other’s differences and hold each other up as best as we can from afar.
Stay safe! Stay home! Stay connected!