Off kilter, out of balance, out of sorts, these ways we describe feeling just not “right.”
We alcoholics tend to have formulas for how to feel good and how to feel not-so-good. Even in sobriety, we are always trying to manage how we feel. In early sobriety, I learned that an AA meeting was a magical path to a feeling of well-being. Sometimes bordering on elation. I recall leaving a meeting and being so happy, I thought that while walking down the stairs leaving the building, jumping down the last seven or eight stairs in high heels was reasonable, and twisted my ankle.
In the last 10 years or so, I have found a formula, more or less, for maintaining an even keel.
- Daily exercise
- Eating well, no white stuff (sugar, flour) which causes cravings – similar to my reaction to alcohol. My best diet is high fat, low carb.
- Regular attendance at AA meetings
- Daily prayer and meditation
- At least an hour of quiet time every day
- 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night.
As I approach the three month anniversary of starting my new, old, and last job – I can see that I lapsed on a lot of these self-care items. And I remain lapsed.
I made the decision to stop running because my body can’t take it anymore, and joined a gym to go exercise like a normal 61 year old woman. But I am not motivated to go exercise like an old woman. I like to train for races. It is specific and goal directed. I don’t want to run on a treadmill, going nowhere, for no good reason. But I am now exercising once or twice a week and that does not work for me!
I went from being a vegetarian to trying the Paleo diet. I think it is probably the best diet for me, but after not eating meat for a year I had a tremendous amount of difficulty buying, cooking, and eating that much meat. It is disgusting to me. So I stopped doing that, and now I am eating whatever. I always default to utter crap. Pasta, bread, sandwiches, burritos, etc. And I feel horrible.
I am not getting to as many meetings as I should. My home group is a 36 mile drive, so I go there once a week. The groups nearby are not anything I look forward to going to, so I just kind of don’t go. I was going to go this morning, but I looked at the clock and realized there was no way I was going to be able to get ready for work and out of here in 30 minutes.
The one constant is daily prayer. The day always begins with prayer. It doesn’t always include meditation though. I feel 100% better when I meditate.
I’m getting the quiet time and the sleep. Most of the time.
My sister is coming next week, so for the last several weeks, my life has consisted of working and cleaning. I am not kidding. I am exhausted. When she leaves, I will have to get my life back on track.
I must learn to live with my new job. I love it, but I have never worked so hard in my life! I must find a way to stop this habit of working so many hours and not eating decent meals. Last night at 5:30, I went upstairs to ask my boss something. She wasn’t there. I walked down the hall, and every single door was closed. They were all gone. I thought to myself “What the heck am I doing here? I am the only one!” And I left.
There will have to be some way to motivate myself to exercise. Not running is a huge adjustment for me. I can’t believe I did that year after year after year. Religiously. I might have to start again. At least walking. It seems to be the only thing I like. Other than swimming.
I must find a way to make this all work for me. I need to work for another 3 years minimum – and I don’t want those years to be torture.
These are my “golden years,” I need to do what I can to make them golden and not nutty.