I planned this past weekend 5 months ago. However, 5 months ago, I didn’t know just how much I would need this weekend.
54 days ago, I stopped drinking. This isn’t my first rodeo, so I will not claim that I took my last drink 54 days ago. What I can say is that 54 days ago, my daily life changed significantly. While the overall adjustment is positive (no hangovers in 54 days, more cash in my bank account, less physical clutter in my home), it’s been a bumpy road.
So far, I’m not struggling to stay sober – that’s happening very easily. (Again, having been to this rodeo before, I’m not surprised that it’s still easy on day 54). What I’m having trouble with is mental focus, depression and anxiety.
I’ve started seeing a therapist who has been very helpful, even in this short amount of time. While therapy is helpful, it also brings out a lot of conversations and emotions that are uncomfortable.
The past 54 days is why I needed this weekend. Spending a weekend at a cabin with family is just what I needed. Early morning bike rides, mid-day hikes and late-night board games was the reset button my mind needed. 4 days without thoughts about work deadlines, household chores and the perpetual to-do list that’s always revolving through my mind, replaced by the plot line of my current read (The Shining), the day’s weather forecast and the next lazy day activity.
It’s back to the grind tomorrow. But I am approaching it with less anxiety than usual. I only get a couple of resets like this a year. What I’ve learned this weekend is that I want to (need to) plan more frequent resets. They don’t all need to involve a lot of planning or a lot of cash, just something to release my brain from the daily anxiety. That’s what alcohol used to do for me. In fairness, it stopped working a long time ago when I let it take over. So I begin my quest for a new reset button.