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Wait, I'm sober now, shouldn't I have it all figured out?

Updated: Jul 31

July 22, 2020


The past two days, I keep finding myself disappointed in how I handled (or in some instances, didn't handle at all) a few situations. Each time I get this burning ball of shame in my chest and feel hot behind the neck. This sensation feels very middle school as if you tripped walking up to the front of class to give a book report - and likely not surprising to many, I never want to feel like I'm back in middle school.


The mistakes or mishandling of situations have been hard for me to accept. I mean, I'm over 10 months sober, I should have everything figured out by now, right? My first thoughts after these feeling rose up were to numb out - I found myself spending tons of time on my phone, eating more than I should and fighting romantic thoughts about wine. Anything to make this feeling go away. And because I didn't run to drink, shop, eat the shame away, I was forced to just sit with this shame and really assess it. While it sounds horrifying, and was at first, after I sat with the same for a minute or two the discomfort eased. And then I thought of something I'd heard Jeff Goldblum say - that:


disappointment = expectation - reality


I was expecting myself to be perfect and in reality I'm only a slightly improved version of the person I was 11 months ago. We as humans are so slow to change - even when we're working so damn hard at it. I'm giving myself a bit of grace today and game planning on the best way to handle these situations now. And as someone helping me through the sobriety journey shared the other day - "Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past." - Lily Tomlin. What's done is done. I have learned, the lesson isn't wasted and now it's time to forgive myself and move forward. The world, the situations and I will all be ok.


Have you ever felt that hot shame at something you did or didn't do and it was the impetus for you to do something self-destructive?


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