Getting Through Friday

Fridays…I have a love/hate relationship with them.

It wasn’t always like this.  Fridays used to be a day of celebration- and, dare I say, relief?  They signified the end of another (often seemingly long) work week.  Happy hours felt more like an exotic vacation destination than a time frame.  In early recovery, these end-of-the-week reprieves take on a new meaning.

I felt off today, and it dawned on me that it’s Friday (I guess my head was buried in the sand).  I had strong cravings for alcohol early this afternoon and had to pause and check in with myself using the H.A.L.T. acronym:  Am I hungry?  Angry?  Lonely?  Tired?  I was tired. Really tired.  I’m not sure why, but today I couldn’t seem to shake off the fog.  Feeling tired often leads to cravings which often lead to a trip down the wine aisle, so I went home and had a low-key afternoon of reading.

I picked up the magazine Bella Grace, which feels more like a richly illustrated art journal than a periodical.  The first page I turned to had a photo of a field of wildflowers and a quote by one of my favorite poets, Hafiz:

“Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”

Thank you, wise one.  That’s exactly what I needed to hear today.  When you’re making a major change in your life, sometimes you need bits of encouragement and signs that you are on the right track. It’s so easy to convince yourself that what’s familiar is what’s best- so why endure the discomfort of changing?

Change is hard- and author Sarah Hepola explains it best:

“If there is a choice between changing and not changing, I can assure you the latter is the much easier road.  How splendid it feels to revert to form.  How cool and lovely and sweet.  I believe that most of us, in our gut, know what we need to do in this life:  We need to leave that job.  We need to leave that relationship.  We need to stop smoking, stop stuffing our face with peanut butter and fudge, stop hiding in that closet, whatever that closet happens to be for you.  But change is hard, man.  Ask Obama.  Ask anyone who’s ever tried to change.”

It’s comforting knowing others (i.e. the bulk of humanity?) struggle with change.  It makes my journey feel less lonely and isolated.  And, knowing others in recovery are sipping iced tea and virgin mojitos during Friday happy hours makes them bearable for this former drinker.

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