What Are You Waiting For?

My therapist admits that I frustrate her. She wants to yell “what are you waiting for?!”

The snapshot of my life today looks enviable: I’m 610 days sober, I have a good job, I own my home with my husband, and I have a family that loves me. Peek behind the headline and you’ll see that I am unhappy, and it’s more than just a clinical depression. I am unhappy with my everyday life.

I’ve been unhappy with my everyday life since I started working with my therapist, but I’ve done nothing to change the big stuff.

I’ve been sober long enough that I can’t continue to use it as an excuse to not take on more change. I’ve also made enough changes within myself over the past 20 months to know that I need to tackle the big stuff to make a dent in this unhappiness.

I’m lonely. I live with a man, but I’m always lonely. We don’t share any hobbies other than a love for TV. So we watch a couple of hours together every day before we carry on by ourselves.

He says he likes his life. He doesn’t need “constant excitement,” he says as though it’s a dirty phrase.

This inactive, homebody lifestyle worked for me when I was drinking. I did not want to leave the house unless it was for work or a liquor store run, and near the end the 2 were synonymous Monday through Friday.

I didn’t want to plan day trips or spend a day running errands together; I just wanted to drink until I forgot my name.

I have a choice to make: I can stay in this house with this man and continue to evolve this new sober lifestyle around him, or I can break out on my own. I suppose the only difference is whether or not I share a house with someone.

I’d rather live alone. It’s one thing to be single and lonely, but it’s especially sad to be married and lonely.

I do not want another relationship. I do not want to swap out the groom on the top of the cake. I just want to be free to develop this sober life and not be held back from pursuing new things.

“I’d like to try snowshoeing, would you like to try together?” I asked tonight. With a blank stare he asked “where?” I’m not sure why he asked where, because it likely had zero impact on his final decision: “no.”

I need to find an outdoor winter activity. This is the first time in my 38 years that I’m staring down the barrel of a long, snowy winter and I’m genuinely sad. Last year at this time, I was less than a year sober. I was still relatively oblivious to the world outside of my crazy head. Rewind even further and I was always happy to see winter come when I was drinking: I felt protected by the extended darkness, the vodka stayed cold under the car seat, and my year-round uniform of long pants and a hoodie was not out of place in the cold.

I’m coming out of a summer that I enjoyed more than any summer in decades. I relied on my bike to provide pure happiness as I pedalled 660 kilometres around the city. I wore shorts and t-shirts regularly, in place of my alcoholic uniform. I’m very sad at the prospect of putting away the bike for the next 5 months. I can’t sit around for the next half year, it will be the end of me. I need to find a winter replacement for biking. I need something to keep me from sliding into a depressive hibernation that will only result in weight gain and even louder suicidal thoughts.

What am I waiting for?

 

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