Old Photos and Sleepless Nights

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I don’t know about you, but trying to quit drinking sure can do a number on your sleep. I’ve been thinking I was going to start having the perfect night of sleep sans alcohol starting seven days ago. It’s been a tumultuous battle each night since then. While I’m sure this will level out at some point and once I fine tune some sort of bedtime strategy like no screen time and reading a book instead or having a cutoff time for eating/drinking, I know some of my angst is most likely my body/mind trying to get used to no drink (or cigs). The lack of exercise doesn’t do me any favors either. Most of these past six nights I’ve woken up at least two or three times and typically my mind begins to race with various thoughts and the anxiety inevitably creeps in. I have to get up for the bathroom. The covers aren’t just so. Every little tick I could have over anything is amplified in my mind If it’s not anxiety creeping in, it’s heartburn or my body feeling restless, or very vivid, unsettling dreams.

One such dream found me being bullied by friends to join them on a kayak trip down the river, but the river was an angry chasm of flood waters and the river was well out of its banks, a plethora of debris bobbing in the churning water. I had resolved to not go with them, but somehow before I knew it I was there out in the middle of it and had fallen from the kayak when I woke up. Another night, I had come down with Coronavirus and no one ever wanted anything to do with me again and I felt a great sense of isolation and loneliness.

This morning was no different and although I didn’t remember any crazy dream this time, after waking at 3:30 the anxiety was overtaking me as I tossed and turned for an hour, until I decided there was no use fighting it, I might as well embrace that I won’t be going back to sleep and do something constructive instead of driving myself crazy with my thoughts. Why not write up another blog post, I thought. Learn more about WordPress and how this whole blog thing works. I’ve been going down so many rabbit holes over past couple days and I realize how much I have to learn to become a blogger. But for now, I’ll content myself to know that even if I’m an amateur, it’s a far better hobby than drinking.

I turned to thoughts of my old camera this morning too, because something’s been nagging at me to pick it up again and try my hand at photography as an outlet for my sobriety. I’ve relied on my smartphone for picture taking, as most of us have these days and my camera has sat neglected on a shelf for longer than I can remember. I went and grabbed it and plugged one of the SD cards from the bag in my computer. This banner of photos are what I decided to share here as some therapy for this morning’s mood I find myself in of nervous energy. Looks like one of the last times I took pictures with my camera was five years ago for my 30th birthday on a trip to beautiful Warm Springs, Virginia.

Wow… Hopefully, this will empower me to make a plan of dusting my camera off and taking it out for a spin again. Figure out how to mess with the settings on it to get a different result in the picture. It’s one thing I always did want to learn more about, but never felt I had the time (because, all my free time was spent getting to and wallowing in the bottom of a bottle). I’d like it to be one of my sober therapy dates to myself, or maybe become a regularly scheduled activity. Perhaps I’ll take it out with my toddler for a walk this morning when she gets up and see what she thinks about a traditional camera. I don’t think she’s ever seen one before!

I hope that if you are thinking of joining me for a sober mama journey, you will find ways to battle those moments of anxiety, fear, depression, anger, boredom, frustration et cetera, with other things to fill your time or to distract your mind until you can get through whatever it is that you’re feeling and particularly if it’s triggering you to drink. Share with me what you activities or old hobbies you used to enjoy you’re thinking of pulling from off the back burner!

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