Friday, June 22, 2012

Exhaustion + Success = Craving?




I have had one of the toughest weeks I've had in a LONG time.  Not physically exhausting (although there was some of that) but mentally and emotionally exhausting.  And I am REALLY glad it's over and that I'll have two days to recover...because I have to do it all over again each week for the rest of the summer.  Welcome to my world.

It's not all bad.  I really love being productive and seeing the results of my efforts.  In my case, it's kind of immediate gratification since I run training programs and you know on a minute by minute basis how you're doing.  In my case it's been a great week.  We started a new program and it's a hit!  That feels amazing.  Amazing and exhausting.

Last night as I sat in yet another cocktail reception, smiling, drinking Diet Coke and eating tidbits of steak, shrimp, scallops (or was it chicken fingers, chips and salsa and crudite - it all runs together after awhile) I felt the familiar feeling of, "Oh would it be good to have a glass of wine" and, as usual, it got me thinking.

It seems that exhaustion that is born of a good days work is a trigger for me.  Who knew?

I remember when I used to travel.  While I was on the road and we would finish a great day in the classroom and immediately head to the bar of the hotel.  There was nothing like that first sip of a cold Chardonnay after a hard day.  Then we would sit around and talk about the day and what we could do better or what went really well.  There was a feeling of camarderie and satisfaction that made the drink all the sweeter. 

When I would return home from a trip I would put the kids to bed and poor a large glass of wine (which usually turned into a bottle or two) and sit and tell my husband all about my trip.  Again, what went well, what drama occurred, who got angry and who did really well and how much I missed them.  It was a ritual and I looked forward to it almost (maybe more?) than I looked forward to coming home.

As I left work this evening I was really craving a glass of wine and it made me sad.  I'm sad because I can't have a glass of wine and relax the way I used to.  I'm also sad because I haven't figured out what to do instead.  What's the replacement?  When I first quit drinking I was unemployed and selling Mary Kay so I wasn't exactly exhausted at the end of the day.  Then I had a series of contracts that, even with the travel, didn't give me that exhaustion plus success feeling.  This is the first time I've been in a role that mimics the feeling I used to have soooooo....trigger.

Now what?

I have no freaking idea.

I've got to figure out how to replace that glass of wine and that feeling of ahhhhhhhhh.  Until then I guess I'll just sit in this chair, feel exhausted and get over my sad.  Not the first time...won't be the last.

4 comments:

  1. I think the AWARENESS you have is awesome! (Growth!) And the sadness and grieving seems normal too. My husband grieves that he can't drink like "normal people". What keeps him sober (when he is) is remembering the consequences of his drinking... it wasn't worth the "ahhhhhhhhhh"... but it doesn't mean there isn't loss and grief mixed up in there too. Both can be true.

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    1. As alcoholics I think we are always chasing that ahhhh. The problem is that it only lasts for a moment and then we mess it all up because we're not normal and we can't stop. It sucks but, as my husband always says, "It is what it is."

      Tanks for the lovely comment.

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  2. As addicts we're always chasing that "Ahhhhh" . .. for me as soon as the kids are in bed and it's dark and I'm inevitably tired . . . That's trigger time. And you're right, it's more about the ritual than the effect. I force myself to look a few hours ahead to the effects, then a few more hours (days even) ahead, to the consequences. Yuk.
    I'm glad I read your post tonight (I was gonna check them tomorrow) but by writing this comment, it's served to remind me how to deal with a craving. . . It's good timing, so thanks.
    You know you don't want the effects and consequences and you are STRONG! (enviably so) x

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  3. It is a grieving that you are going thru and a yearning for the other life with chardonney as the elixcir of choice....like any other dead soul, the grieving will subside but the other life will always be missed...I love you baby for your strength and your resolve to conquer this monster...addiction is a powerful opponent and you must be on guard and dilegent constantly...

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