I feel as if I am starting life all over again.
And in a way I am, not only a new life not drinking, but a new life in retirement.
There is so much I have to learn.
Drinking stunted my ability to cope with all the ups and downs of life.
I only relied on that one way to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and pain.
So, I am learning new ways to deal with feelings.
Drinking also helped me pass the time. I am amazed, now that I’m not drinking, how much time I used just buying alcohol, home drinking, or going out to bars.
So, I am learning how to use my time in a different way.
I loved my teaching career. It was my passion. I felt creative and wanted. I had connections with children and adults.
But I was overworked and burned out.
My young self loved to read, write, ride her bike, sing, meet friends, help other people, play outside at night, sew, and even cook and bake. She loved learning new things.
This is the person I want to rediscover.
But something keeps stopping me. I am at a loss to explain why I am struggling in my retirement. I can’t quite figure out my new purpose or a new passion. Without that, I feel as if I am just floating around. I feel stuck. It’s like I am looking a tree full of apples, but can’t decide which one to pick. I keep thinking I will make the wrong choice.
My new therapist is working with me to help me navigate this maze.
She especially wants me to work on self-compassion, as I am very hard on myself.
I am not taking the best care of myself. I sometimes stay in the house for days, doing nothing but reading. I don’t eat healthy food.
I need to learn how I can be my own best friend and support myself while I am figuring things out.
So I feel as if I am standing in a doorway.
If I walk through it, I will find Wendy.
If I turn back, I will lose her again.
(A very good author on self-compassion is Dr. Kristin Neff.
Check out her web site here.)