Doing too much?

I finally have a few days off work and boy, do I need a break. I’ve worked eight out of the last ten days, all twelve hour shifts, and it’s been pretty manic following the tornado earlier this week and the terror attack in London yesterday.

I wouldn’t normally work so many days in a row but I was offered the overtime and I thought the extra money would come in handy. Before I stopped drinking, I was always reluctant to take on extra work. This is because a) working interfered with my plans to drink and b) I never had the energy. I felt I needed all my time off just to stay sane.

Since I’ve stopped drinking I’ve had so much more energy and most of the time I feel very strong, like I can do anything. I can’t think of another way to describe it. Last month, when I went to a stop drinking seminar, one of the things that really struck a chord with me was when the therapist described problem drinkers as ‘strong willed’. He argued that you have to be pretty strong and determined to put up with the hangovers, the tiredness and the problems that drinking creates in your life. I really liked this description because it’s so different from the qualities we normally associate with boozers. And it’s so true. You do have to be pretty hardcore to go to work with an epic hangover and act like you’re totally fine.

In all aspects of my life I’ve started saying ‘yes’ more often, whether it be taking on extra shifts or going out with friends. ‘No’ tended to be my default answer before. In the past I’ve turned down nights out because I’d already planned to get wasted on my own. What a loser…

On the whole, this new ‘can do’ attitude is a good thing. It’s just that this week that I’ve done a bit too much. I’ve not slept enough and tiredness has chiselled away at the logical part of my brain.  Fortunately I haven’t had any urges to drink this week, but I’m not sure what would’ve happened if I did. My sober car has been plodding along without driver.

So I think the lesson for me has been that I can’t take things for granted. Just because things have gone ok so far I still need to be nice to myself. I need to get enough rest, eat properly, exercise and do my ‘sober homework’ (basically – reading blogs and listening to downloads of the Bubble Hour). And that’s exactly what I’m going to do today.

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2 thoughts on “Doing too much?

  1. Amy May 23, 2013 at 11:36 am Reply

    I was just thinking about the strong willed thing this morning- what will it must have taken for me to get up and go to work at 5AM some days after drinking for several hours the night before. How awful I felt. How I couldn’t drink coffee because it made me so edgy, so I would just gobble headache meds and work thru it. UGH!

    I rarely used to make plans either- plans could interfere with the drinking, or I might be hungover. Plus, then I would have had to share. I hear you! 🙂 (*shakes head, laughs at ridiculousness*)

    Have a good rest. And good for you for picking sleep instead of chardonnay. 🙂

  2. byebyebeer May 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm Reply

    I like this perspective of active problem drinkers as strong-willed because it is, as you said, opposite of the weak-willed, can’t-seem-to-stop stereotype of a drunk. This stubbornness serves us well in early sobriety and then returns as strength and energy for more worthwhile causes, like work or family or running marathons. Lovely post.

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