Just say YES

31 Dec

5:08 pm

Just say yes.

That’s my “theme” for 2014. Well, that seems to be what it’s going toward–and, it just came to me against my will, so, hell, why not? Just say yes.

After some tough face-to-face realizations over Christmas–some of which made me feel uncomfortable for reasons beyond which I could elucidate–I’ve come to see what about getting sober has become counterproductive, for me anyway.

Here’s what: I feel like since getting sober, I’ve reined myself in so tight, closed my boundaries so much, that I have a hard time anymore saying yes. Stopping thinking and just doing. Opening myself up. Loosening those boundaries.

I’ve come to see that when we first get sober, it’s all about saying no. And necessarily so: No, I can’t drink. No, I can’t drink. No, I can’t drink. No, I can’t do this, that, or the other–because it might make me want to drink again, or, it MADE me want to drink again. No, I can’t go there, or see him, or talk to those people. No, I better not take that job, or run that race, or tax myself in any way beyond what I believe myself–weak and vulnerable, because this quitting drinking shit is fucking hard–to be capable. I better just stay here, small, enclosed, tight. Saying no. All the time.

To the point where you don’t realize just how much you’re over-thinking things and as a consequence, limiting yourself. I don’t think I’ve ever been as up in my head as I have been getting sober, wondering about every choice, overanalyzing every step I take. It’s as if getting sober has resulted in a spotlight on my forehead, a strobe going ’round and ’round and ’round, illuminating every thought, action, and reaction. I don’t just go or be or do anymore; life has come to carry so much WEIGHT.

Now, everyone’s journey is different. My “bottom” was low–it was the end of the business-as-usual way that I drank–so, I don’t think I can refuse the sober momentum that is building inside me. A certain order has been cast on my innards, almost as if the moral code of my Universe has melted and re-solidified as something else. So, I’ll keep going with what’s been working–moving toward “yes,” is how it feels. I can’t go back, and that’s OK, I guess.

However, I wasn’t necessarily using wine to get out of bed, or, to basically live. I lived my life, and my life was working in spite of my hangovers and stupid drunken shenanigans. My relationships suffered, yes, and my job, too. I had the distinct sense, though, that I wasn’t “not doing,” you know?

Sobriety seems to have made me less willing to do stuff–in order to protect myself from myself, I guess. And, I think, taking a step back/a time-out is necessary to heal. It was for me. Now, though, I feel like it’s time to move forward. It’s time to stop “being in recovery” and start “being recovered.” Time to say, well, yes. Yes, I can probably do this sober; yes, I’m ready to…just say yes.

Say yes to a new job search.
Say yes to a move.
Say yes to having kids–or yes to trying.
Say yes to saying NO to the guilt of not having kids–or the guilt of an abortion.
Say yes to saying NO to a career in journalism, if that’s what I truly want.
Say yes to a new career outside of my head, maybe yes to school for this new career.
Say yes to exploring different healing methodologies for my back pain–maybe even the Western ones.
Say yes to trips.
Say yes to exploring my sexuality further.
Say yes to saying NO to thinking about how things relate to my sobriety or not–chances are, they do, but who cares? Enough is enough–say yes to this.
Say yes to getting my energy up every day, and being more of a firecracker and less of deadbeat–even if my neurotic mind says no because I’m afraid of threatening or alienating others who are less energetic.
Say yes to saying NO to Facebook!
Say yes to the people around me, and yes to not trivializing them by wondering what people in my computer are doing.
Say yes to saying no to comparing myself to others–and that includes knowing what everyone is doing all the time in favor of what I’m doing!
Say yes to what I’m doing as being good enough, engaging enough, valuable enough.

You get the point.

I don’t know, just say yes. What’s the worst that could happen? I could be afraid of the outcome; I could pretend there is no outcome, or that it doesn’t matter; I could pretend there is no fear in me. Or, if I can’t ignore the fear, the projections into some nonexistent future, I can say yes anyway.

Just say yes.

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9 Responses to “Just say YES”

  1. AsJimSeesIt December 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    YES! “Getting” sober is about saying no, “Being” sober is about living life to the fullest, not chained to that damn bottle!

  2. fern December 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    I right there with you. I need to move out of the safety of my closed sober world, too. Thank you for putting how I feel into words.

  3. Jocelynn December 31, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    I love your blog. I just found it on Christmas Eve and reading your posts has really added to my holiday season in a great way. Thank you! Also, I will be 100 days sober on January 12, 2014 when you hit 300!

  4. Lilly January 1, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    Finally you are turning up in my reader! YES! Yes yes yes yes! I love this.

    Thank you for your wonderful comment on my last post. I agreed with every word and it made me feel better about my recent misadventures with the bottle. Of course it fucked with my head that it was more-or-less ok. In a weird way it would have been easier if it had just obviously sucked and taken me right back to the worst of it. But I could still feel that that worse was just out there, lurking around the corner, and the stuff that immediately sprang up again was enough to remind me of that and make me feel really wary about continuing. Is it really worth it?

    I really related to this post as I’ve felt much the same way at times, despite being less far along than you. Like, being restrained and careful and thinking, thinking, thinking about it all ALL the time feels so necessary in getting to grips with sobriety initially, but then at times I’m like, fuck it, I’m just not drinking, that’s all, I need to live my life again!

    I think all this quiet, analytical, careful time you’ve put in has been 200% worth it though. I mean, look how far you’ve come since you first quit? Seriously. So now you’ve laid that foundation it’s time to spread your wings again, cut loose a little and be brave in some new, uncharted directions. Fabulous!

    May 2014 be the year we ride our glittercorns off across new, uncharted horizons.

    xo

    • carrythemessage January 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      I know, L – she’s finally showing up on my reader too after months and months! Yay!

  5. carrythemessage January 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    This is my favourite post of yours pretty much ever. Not only is it brimming with enthusiasm, but it’s bridles to some deep insights and vision. Not an easy trifecta. I went through a long phase of opening up to life, DDG. A long phase. I can say that I am still in it. Saying No was easy. Saying Yes isn’t. Easier, yes, but still opens me up. And like you said – what’s the worse that can happen? Fear of success is as strong as fear of failure, and I had both coarsing through my veins, even in sobriety. Especially in sobriety. So this post of yours is a wonderful mirror to put myself up to. I see a lot of me in this, then and now. some of these things get easier. Some takes time. Be patient with yourself. But don’t rest on your haunches either. Action! Action changes thinking, not the other way around. At least for me that’s true.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed this – rocked, in fact 🙂

    Happy new year and blessings – I look forward in hearing more 🙂

    Paul

  6. Just Some Woman January 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    You know, I think some of my issues with not wanting to go to AA meetings regularly stem from the fact that it’s practically required that you stay up in your head ALL THE TIME, critiquing oneself, analyzing myself to death and every behavior as it relates to being sober, etc etc. I’m more of an “external” person. I think outside of myself, not always trying to diagnose myself and every little character defect. I know you’ve been through this and are obviously coming out on the other side of it.
    I’m ashamed to admit that I now have to force myself to go to meetings and I really don’t understand why. I would NEVER tell anyone NOT to seek help from AA, considering it kept me sober for many years and has kept me sober for 2 years as of 12/11 after my becoming addicted to alcohol again from 2009-2011. I know I can’t drink like a normal person. It just can’t happen. And I can say YES to mourning this fact and YES to getting the fuck over that mourning. I can say YES to going to meetings when I WANT and I can dodge in and out of the trees to sneak along the path that is serving you well when I want to.
    Your post comes at a time when I needed to hear this.
    Happy New Year, DDG

  7. mishedup January 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    OH I love this!
    It is amazing how this thing works with people, this sobriety thing. My experience was different; I needed to say YES before I could get sober…I needed to force myself out of my office with my desk full of Jack and into the world. I spent that first year saying yes to everything but Happy Hours….but I get this, because behind the yes to living there was such a big NO to booze, and that did color my world. I choose a word for the year and even tho it changes yearly I hold on to the old ones…the serve me well, so why lose them, right?

    Yes transformed me from a drunk into the sober woman I am today…full of possibilities. I love your list..so many are on my FREEdom list….particularly the whole FB thing.

    I saw in a post on another blog that you are at 300 days….I haven’t been able to follow you properly either so I am hoping it will work now, because I want to be in on that party!

    Here’s to the year of the YES! may it serve you well!

  8. Katherine January 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Awesome post and replies from everyone! I love hearing how you are feeling ready to say YES to things now DDG! You sound so strong. I also got so tired of being afraid to go here or there or be with these certain people, cause it might trigger my need to drink or it will just suck being sober. I got tired of over analyzing it all in my head too. Speaking for myself, I believe I started saying YES to life, when I felt I could trust myself. Alcohol is everywhere and that’s just a fact. Early on, I did not want it close to me or thrown in my face, cause I felt so fragile. I took baby steps…sometimes I took giant steps…but baby steps felt safer and better. So I say YES to going places, doing things, and being with others sober now and truthfully I have a really good time! Happy 2014 and Hugs!

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