Or the title could be: How I Stopped White Knuckling It and Started Letting Go. Having faith that whatever happens happens. Not in the "it is what is is" way (which I hate) but more in the "What will be will be" one. Que sera sera. In the I can't control it but I'm OK with it way. Not in the nothing I can do anyway so who cares way. But with some control included. See?
Sometimes I am grasping at everything: concentrating on how life isn't what I want it to be rather than making it what I want it to be. Be a better runner? Then run. Be in better shape? Then don't eat dessert
I have a habit of wanting things, and then waiting for someone else to do them,. And then getting mad when they don't get done. Lord, help me.
Or the subtitle could be: Getting/Giving Up Control. I have another habit: Giving things up. Now that I've finally given up booze forevah I have other stuff to take care of. I never drank coffee before when I was hungover a few/several/every day a week. It made me nervous and sickish, and I already felt bad enough without the cursed thought patrol coursing at ninety miles an hours through my head. So I would just chug water and ibuprofen and wait for 5 o'clock somewhere.
Then sobriety arrived (hello there and welcome, and thank you sweet baby jesus) and I started drinking coffee. It was innocent at first: just a cup in the morning while I wrote my blog. Then another a little bit after I got to work. Then another before I left work. Then maybe another after I got home before I walked over to get my oldest at school. And then all these cups became necessity not luxury. And suddenly I was pissed off every evening, gritting my teeth through bath time and stories please please please is it time for fucking bed yet? And I was waking up at 2:30 in the morning mind racing unable to get back to sleep. (and when you get up at 4 or 4:30 what's the point?)
So, sadly, coffee and I aren't meant to be either. It would have been much cooler if we were, but getting sober isn't just about giving up booze. It's also about learning what works now that I am coherent enough to identify what does and what doesn't. Learning myself. Getting comfortable. Being mostly happy, or at the least content-ish. Which means I'll be experimenting with things. Like giving up coffee.(yes, this obviously works- I feel mucho better-o today (day 4)) Or running more. Running longer distances slower, running short distances faster. Giving up things like cheesecake and cookies and having things like dark chocolate or a little maple syrup in my oatmeal. Because those things make me feel better in my head for a long time, while eight cookies makes me feel better until the last crumb goes down and then I regret them all immediately. Which might make me reach for a couple more cookies. So giving that stuff up gets me some control. And with that control comes peace. Peace in my mind.
Which is my new prayer. I am not spectacularly religious, but I do believe in prayer. And so my new prayer goes like this: "Please help me do the things that make me happy and give me peace." I'm relaxing my knuckles by gaining some control. Giving myself permission to do whatever I want makes me unhappy. Just because I stopped drinking it doesn't make it OK for me to keep passing my stopping points. That just starts the rounds of bad how-could-yous that I've given up. So being sober is all about not drinking, but also all about not behaving like an -aholic. Whether that includes cookie-aholic or coffee-aholic or giving things up-aholic. Setting some damn limits around here. Like I'm five years old and don't know any better. Parenting myself. Teaching myself.
And trusting that the universe is listening. And that maybe, just maybe, I'm listening too.