Out of my depth

Home after my first day at work, and I feel completely and utterly overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s a long time since I’ve worked, and I feel out of touch and behind the times. And I have a different life now, coming home to a family and three children, so I can’t devote so much time to it. I’m panicking a little.

I got through last night’s awful craving: THANK YOU for your helpful, supportive comments. I clung to the blog, and went to bed with a pounding headache and a troubled mind, but woke grateful that I was on Day 6.

Now, as I near the evening, I’m just so tired and out of kilter, a drink seems far from my mind. Part of me wishes I’d never agreed to the job, but I also know it is good for me to think about something other than drinking, and to push myself more.

But my heart is heavy, for some reason.

29 thoughts on “Out of my depth”

  1. Hi Annie. Good for you, getting through the cravings and the first day of work! You know, emotions are often all over the place for the first little while after quitting, and being extra-tired is pretty normal, too. Feeling overwhelmed and heavy-hearted is tough, but it will pass. Sticking with your resolve and going to bed early sounds like the best plan to me. Cheering you on from over here in Canada! xo

  2. Hi Annie, you do have a lot going on so this period of feeling ill at ease is normal. I know you are worried about returning to the workplace but I assure you I have worked uninterrupted all my life and every time I change jobs I experience similar feelings to you. People are very forgiving to new people and many of them may be hoping that you will be a potential new friend or even cool work buddy. Just keep breathing and asking for help when you need it. There is always one good soul who is dying to be of assistance. Well done again for today, I know you were rally nervous about it.

  3. Definitely hit the sack early. It is so normal to feel anxious and inadequate the first day in a new job (or new anything), and all your emotions are heightened because of your sobriety. It is the first time in a long time they (the emotions) have had a chance to get a workout without being numbed by alcohol. So of course you are feeling everything more acutely, and of course that is exhausting and overwhelming at the moment. Trust me on this, eventually, you will count this renewed ability to feel life as one of the great benefits of sobriety. You are living as a human on earth now — not as a zoned out alcoholic, floating above and away from everything, slightly sick to your stomach, lonely, and missing out. Welcome back to the real world!

    One of my favorite quotes from one of my heroes, the monk Thich Nhat Hahn: People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle

  4. It’s a war inside you right now, the detoxing, the stress from starting back to work…it’s no wonder you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Self-care and self-compassion are key right now. Take a bath, eat chocolate, take a nap (not at work, of course). Don’t beat yourself up for feeling emotional. It’s completely normal (see PAWS-post-acute withdrawal syndrome). Give yourself permission to cry, eat chocolate, go to bed early, whatever it takes to get through the day. I know the emotions are uncomfortable. After all, that’s what most of us drink to avoid in the first place. And I know it seems obvious, but it took me a while to get this – if you’re exhausted, just go to bed. I have this thing with pushing through tiredness, like it’s some character flaw to go to bed at 6pm, but holy hell, if you’re tired, just go to bed. It’s totally ok. Your family will have to understand that it’s part of your healing process.

    When that little voice starts to try to “reason” you into having a drink, that’s not you, that’s the addiction. The more days you put between you and your last drink, that voice becomes fainter and less frequent. Some call it Wolfie. Some call it the wine witch. Whatever you picture it as, it feeds on stress and other uncomfortable physical states (hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness). Try to manage the things you can. Don’t skip meals, get as much sleep as you can, and try not to isolate yourself. And allow yourself to feel your emotions. I struggle very much with this, myself. Feeling sad feels like the end of the world for me. I have to remind myself that it’s ok and that it will pass. And it always does. I remember how up and down it was in the beginning, so just know that you’re not crazy. It’s normal.

  5. Hey Annie – going back to work is scary, and you’ll probably feel totally de-skilled and overwhelmed at first – I know I did when I went back. And when you’ve children to think about, there’s just not as much time/brain power to devote to work I think!! You’re not alone, keep going, it’s nearly a week for both of us! Red xx

  6. Hi Annie,
    Congrats of going back to work. That must have been hard after so many years away. I think it will be good for you, give you something else to think about.
    Well done for getting through the craving the other night. Just stay strong and keep going. You can do this!
    I am thinking of you. You are doing a great job.
    A x

  7. Hi Annie, I think most new jobs requires high learning curve, leaving one feeling overwhelmed. Don’t stress it will all fall into place overtime…you can’t be expected to know everything on first day. I can tell you would be a very valued employee… Ps congrats on Dry Jan success

  8. Hey Annie, lots thrown at you and it is normal to be exhausted! The best part is tomorrow you will be able to handle the day so much better that you did not drink. I find it so hard as well newly sober and tiring, so tiring thinking about drinking not drinking. But you did it!

  9. I remember when I first started working as a nurse in surgery, I hated it! I told myself, “I’ll give it three months, then I’m doing something else.” I’m now going on my 30+ years as a surgical nurse. It is scary going back to work, but it will make you stronger and more sure of yourself. Just like sobriety, hard as hell but worth it. Proud of you!

  10. Congratulations on your first day back – big, awesome deal! Second, congratulations on Day 6. Rest. Process. Be proud of yourself. Some really amazing things are happening, even if they are a bit uncomfortable and new still. Like new shoes, right? Everything gets better with a little wear. … You’re doing great.*

  11. Day 6 ….. Fabulous good on You.

    Wow 5 days between you and day 1. Just think you never have to have a day 1 again, you have stopped drinking, you have done it! Now, keep the focus on nurturing you, getting stronger every day, accepting those feelings come and go, but your commitment to being the best version of you will never waiver…..

    We’re going to do this, just imagine when you can say, I gave up drinking alcohol last year, alcohol and I got along just a little too well! I actually see being sober as a badge of honour, it is the strongest best thing I have ever done for me and just for me. I love NOT drinking, and believe me the chances are you will too.

    In the meantime enjoy the nightly getting ready for bed ritual whatever the time! Lucky you doing it in the UK in winter, early nightfall, dark and cold perfect for a cosy bed! try doing it in summer, at christmas time in one of the hottest countries….. Early snuggling in nights are a little harder here in the land of Oz……the dulcet sounds of crickets , rhinoceros beetles and christmas beetles, cane toads and frogs…….it’s all happening here……

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