You stumble over the cats as you make your way into the kitchen with one eye open and flip on the switch to the coffer maker. Your cell phone rings but you can’t find it because you’re not awake enough to realize it’s in the pocket of the robe you’re wearing. You need to pee but haven’t made your bed yet, and you can’t decide which to do first – so you do neither while the coffee brews. You stare at your feet and realize one is longer than the other. One hundred thoughts about any and everything zip through your brain, but which one to focus on has already become your biggest challenge. That and finding a spoon.
Waking up takes time. At least for some of us. And having an indecisive personality doesn’t help.
This mental state can be compared to the mental state of someone who has recently stopped drinking or using. It takes time to wake up and air out.
For those of us new to sobriety, airing out our brains can take months. A cup of coffee and a few hours just won’t cut it. Coming to can be a strange and new experience for the acute alcoholic who has just spent a quarter or more of his/her life drinking or using. New thoughts and ideas occur to us. New routines present themselves. Our perspectives change and with them – our attitudes. Everything is new without the blanket of alcohol/drugs. And we don’t know what to DO with newness. It’s raw and not always much fun.
We need to learn to be patient with ourselves, with other people, and with life. It’s a challenge. And other people close to us who recognize what we’re going through need to utilize patience. We’re like wee babes – learning to walk. We fall down and trip over socks. But eventually – those of us determined to get it right – do get it right. And it pays off.
Just a little something to chew on for those of you with a loved one in early recovery or for those of you thinking about trying to get your shit together. It’s not an easy or a fast process – coming into the light, that is. But it sure as hell is worth it.