I'm Sober, Now What?!?!?!?!?

This is how I have been feeling lately...I reached 3 years of sobriety last month and while I still firmly belive that my worst days sober beat my best days drinking (its not even a comparison!), I have been feeling very...well, discontent...Last week when I met with my therapist, I told her that I am tired of this feeling [of discontent].  It reminds me of how I felt during my drinking days in the sense that I always assumed that I would drink for the rest of my life because I was powerless to stop it...As that turned out to be a falsehood [the fact that I would drink for the rest of my life], so too are the feelings of discontentment.  However, as with claiming my sobriety [among a long list of pro-active actions], I have to claim my inner peace.  As I know all to well, things don't simply happen in life because we want them to---despite what a number of "new-age" soothsayers may profess, we cannot simply "wish" the life that we want into existence. 

For me, taking concrete steps toward inner peace has a number of steps (and is an EVERYDAY process).  My partner and I were in DC over the weekend and I recalled my last interactions [during my illustrious drinking career] with a person [the person lives in DC] to whom I definitely owed an apology...Instead of allow those feelings of frustration and embarassment to fester inside of me, I decided to send the person a note of explanation and apology...I can't change the past and the person could very well decide to toss my note---these are 2 things [amongst many] over which I have absolutely no control.  But, making the "amends" to this person brought me some level of comfort.  This is probably the first person outside of my inner circle to whom I have actually admitted my alcoholism and apologized for my behavior.  I wavered back and forth over whether I should have sent the note, but on the whole, I don't regret it.  It was certainly the right thing to do.  And, it felt so damn good that I did it again!  I have another friend who is part of my "small circle" of friends and our relationship has been strained over the last few years.  Irrespective of what she may/may not have done, I had to take a long, hard look at myself and understand that I have been doing a great deal of projection and I have been overly sensitive given my own person trials and tribulations...So, I sent her a note of apology...I know that this person cares about me and I feel the same about her...

But, finding [and holding onto] peace is about more than sending sending notes [I bought some great note cards from the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop and it has been killing me to use them!].  For me, peace is really is about leaving me alone!  It means truly recognizing and appreciating the person that I am TODAY, the person that I have become TODAY and allowing that person to flourish and "just be".  It means rejecting an idealized version of self that was never rooted my actual reality-a reality that was meaningless from the beginning.  This is a hard process for me.  My default position over the years is one of self loathing and self criticism.  I have said before (and, now I think I actually mean it), that this is not a mentally healthy way of living.  I accept my ambition and drive and determination toward self improvement...I think that these are all laudable attributes.  But, to a certain extent, I need to understand where reality ends and fiction takes over in my own mind and understand that this does a serious disservice to my current existence.  For me, that's peace, and that's the "now what".

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