Is This Sanity?

10+ months in recovery. I still pinch myself.

Novelty is a luxury I cannot afford to treat as commonplace.

It’s been a bit since I last shared publicly on my journey in recovery. By all accounts, this life I am leading is beyond my wildest dreams (we are known for this proclamation, alcoholics).

I am not depressed. I do not have urges to drink. I am not anxious beyond what I have come to understand (accept, more accurately) is expected. I’m sober, and working a program. I’m sane, and I know I am because of three important reasons:

  1. Aforementioned sobriety.
  2. Self-work, ignited in Eagleville Hospital by excellent psychotherapy from an excellent psychotherapist.
  3. Medications. For me, it’s a cocktail of antidepressants, anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications), mood stabilizers, and, yes, antipsychotics.

In recovery, I practice mindfulness. As it relates to my thoughts on sanity, I take time throughout the day for brief pauses. Brief moments wherein I reflect on what has just happened — whatever it might be — and make a note of my reactions. My behaviors. My emotional responses. I do this because it grounds me in reality. It allows me time to cherish how sound — and sometimes how mundane — I am in relation to, well, anything. This isn’t to suggest I’m a bore. I’m far too witty for boredom! But, and this is crucial, I am not living in a perpetual state of hyperbole. And this is revolutionary for me. This is why I pinch myself daily. Most of the time, it’s a metaphorical pinch. But sometimes, it’s quite literal.

I’m coming to understand, at a pace that feels absolutely right, that sanity is peace of mind. It’s the culmination of many mundane and trivial experiences. It’s reacting to life’s situations and characters with intention, measured.

And, so far, it is something I relish. It feels novel, because for the overwhelming majority of my life, I did not experience this. It’s novel because I make conscious choices not to expect it.

Here’s to more pinch-myself moments!

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