I’ve been thinking a lot about my routine lately, in particular how I spend my time. Before I was sober, I spent most of my free time drinking, recovering from drinking or thinking about drinking. During the first month of my sobriety I then spent most of my free time thinking about not drinking. I also took part in a minimalist challenge and ended up cleaning out many things from my house. I figured I had to keep busy somehow. I was amazed at the time I had now that I wasn’t drinking.
Month two brought time spent thinking about not drinking and thinking about all the things I was suddenly feeling, like how my marriage was at a breaking point. This is when my husband and I separated. Besides thinking and feeling I started doing yoga at home with my kids. And I sort of just wandered around, lost.
After the separation and into month 3 I still spent a lot of time thinking about not drinking and what would become of my marriage but I also started doing more. Once my husband moved out, I took charge and for a few weeks I took on every single household task and began getting rid of more and trying to get organized in some way. As I sifted through all of the stuff we had accumulated it became very clear that 1) we seriously had way too much fucking stuff and 2) I clearly did not keep up with cleaning and organizing well while I was actively in my addiction. Gross.
Month 4 I got a little lazy because I was thinking and feeling a lot. Loneliness, anger, resentment, fear, anxiety would often paralyze me. So I thought, felt and read in order to try to make sense of everything. Then I started writing as I needed an outlet for all these feelings and a way to share my story and feel less alone.
I’m in month 5 now and I’m still thinking but back to doing more. I’m cooking meals and baking bread which I had previously given up as being in the kitchen preparing meals was a trigger for me early on in my sobriety.
I signed up for yoga classes that will begin soon in May. (Question: Why does it seem like people in recovery always do yoga?) My mom helped me begin to spring clean and I’ve gotten rid of even more unnecessary stuff. (How do we end up with so. much. stuff?) I’ve completely rearranged my dining room and I’m halfway through reorganizing my kitchen. I deep cleaned my freezer (which I’m fairly sure I’ve never done considering all I found). I even felt secure enough in my sobriety to start selling all of my alcohol paraphernalia: wine glasses galore, a rolling bar, a wine bottle holder, bartending tools…and let me tell you, that is so freeing.
All of this productivity has made me reflect more on my daily schedule as well. It is extremely important to me currently to practice daily self-care. I read about these people who swear by getting up at 5:00 am to meditate and do yoga and journal to start their day. They claim it just sets the right tone for the day. Frankly, I’ve always believed that sleeping as late as possible is the best way to start my day. However, now that I’m more in tune with myself and I want to stay that way and continue healing and “doing the work” I wonder if I should try something like this. (Calm down – I’m just in the wondering stage. Hell may have to freeze over first before I start willingly giving up an extra hour of sleep.)
I’ve also analyzed the time I have in the evenings after packing tomorrow’s lunches and making dinner and ensuring that homework has been completed. Some of it I’ve spent reading, some of it I’ve spent cleaning and organizing, some of it I’ve spent writing and sometimes I spend it just resting.
I wonder though if I should have more of a defined schedule for myself. Up at 5 for meditating (which would probably just put me back to sleep), off to work by 7, home for the evening by 5:30, dinner, then this on Mondays, that on Tuesdays, that on Wednesdays…
I’m not even really sure what that would accomplish. Maybe more productivity. I think mostly it would just satiate my desire for control. Isn’t that what it boils down to? If I have a strict routine then I know what to expect, life is predictable and I’m in control. As we all know though, life is anything but predictable.