Taking Inventory

No pictures, no quotes, no DIY, no recipes. Today, was one of those days I needed to write. I started this blog so I could have an outlet to share my experience; my story; my sober life. It’s my therapy; my free form of therapy if you will (I’ve had plenty of the kind you pay for too). Sometimes I just need to vent. You may or may not relate to everything I talk about, but my hope is we will all relate on the human level. The level of just living life.

The last few days I’ve been feeling icky. Not icky in the sense of being sick, but icky in the sense of feeling anxious, agitated and stressed. I’m quick to snap and the smallest thing can push me over the edge. Usually, I notice my OCD acting up and I immediately know something is “off.” For a recovering alcoholic this is not a good place to be because it lowers our defenses against that first drink. And, for us, there’s never “just one drink.” It’s a scary place to be, which is why when I start feeling this way I know it’s time to take inventory.

It’s kind of like when you lose your keys and you have to stop everything you’re doing and go back in your mind to where you last saw them. In a similar way, I have to stop and go back to what happened to make me feel this way. Once I started thinking about it, I realized it started on Monday. For some reason the kids were at each other all day on Monday. I felt like I was constantly playing referee. Monday night my husband had to work late, which meant I couldn’t make my favorite recovery meeting and he wouldn’t be home to put the kids down – something he does every night. On Tuesday morning, he had to leave before the kids got up, which meant the kids didn’t see him that morning either. By this time, our routine was completely off. For better or worse, we are very routine oriented people and anything that deviates from that routine tends to put us all on edge, especially me. So, there you go, I figured it out.

Now, what could I have done differently to change my reaction to the situation? I could’ve prepared better by talking to the kids about the fact that it was a busy time for Daddy and he would be gone more than normal; I could’ve asked my in-laws to watch the kids while I went to my meeting (because I really needed one); I could’ve called my sponsor when I first started feeling stressed (because that’s what you do); I could’ve read out of my recovery books; I could’ve said some extra prayers or opened my Bible. I could’ve and should’ve. The important point I’m trying to make is that, through recovery, I have learned how to STOP and take inventory. How am I feeling and how did I get here?

I tend to think it’s a great tool for everyone, regardless if you’re in a recovery program or not. How many times have we kept tumbling out of control, never stopping to ask ourselves “what is going on?” Taking inventory of your feelings doesn’t mean blaming someone else for the way you feel, it simply means reviewing how you got to where you are and, hopefully, learning ways to prevent it from happening next time.

Yes, I am a planner and I like routine, but as I always remind myself – life is not perfect. Things come up. Heck, life comes up! As long as I am prepared with the tools I need to approach the unexpected and spiritually fit, I can tackle what life throws my way. I truly believe God will not give me anything I can’t handle, including two strong-willed kids!

Thanks for letting me vent!


8 responses

  1. So glad you were able to take time for yourself and slow down. I think we can all relate to that feeling of “life happening” and just feeling out of whack!

  2. I’m so glad you shared this Chenoa!! I love how open you are and this really hit home for me. I’m such a routine person also and I too find that I have to go back and take inventory when I notice my attitude and outlook starting to decline. Thanks so much for the reminder to STOP! 🙂
    Love ya friend,

  3. Thanks, Vanessa! Unfortunately, there are times I wait WAY too long before putting on the brakes. But, I think the most important part is that we acknowledge it and move forward with new insight.
    Love ya back!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. While I don’t know what’s it like to be in your particular situation, I do know what it’s like to feel “off”, and needing to take a moment (or days) to figure why. Best wishes! -Laurie

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