While I’ve been sober for nearly a year now, I do not have a lot of experience staying sober through episodes of grouchy. I had a doozy of an episode yesterday and didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t figure out what was causing it and I wound up becoming overly self-critical as a result of not being able to understand its origin.
So, I went to bed unhappy and woke up feeling a little bit better, but with a lingering trace of yuck. Once a week, a peer and I practice coaching on each other and today turned out to be the perfect day for it. I explained to her what happened yesterday and that – back in the day – I’d have turned to wine for that without hesitation.
She is not an alcoholic or an addict, and she is (obviously) familiar with the mental and physical state/sensation of grouchiness. She seemed a little surprised that I was so surprised at how uncomfortable grouchy feels. I find it extremely unpleasant and disagreeable. After several attempts at trying to help me find my answer, she paused for a moment and then asked me “What can you do to make yourself feel better?” (Remember – most of the best coaching questions begin with what or how.)
That turned out to be the magic question. Writing about it here – knowing that at least one person on the planet is likely to read my post – that helps (for some reason). Exercise helps. Communicating with other people and focusing on them – to get out of my own head helps. Reading and journaling helps. Planning for the future helps. Lazy has always been one of my favorite places to go and yesterday, I spent too much time there. Instead of getting off my tookus, I sat, got irritated, sat some more, refused to move, got more irritated (because I didn’t really want to do anything specific) and I got all turned around and upside down.
Jeez! My grouchiness was the result of overthinking and under doing. And maybe one or two other minor details. Get up next time, Jennifer. Up. Up! UP! The effects that being productive (as opposed to busy) and engaged have on my psychological state are PROFOUND. Balance is magic.
I had no idea.
Lesson – check!