Posted by: Dennie | August 23, 2013

Restless, Irritable and Discontent

I’ve been struggling.

And I don’t like it.

I hate it when I feel off balance. When I first came into AA, my emotions were like a gigantic roller coaster and I was constantly up and down. I hoped that after I got some time under my belt, that the downs would diminish and my moods would remain elevated.

Now, almost sixteen years later, I prefer to stay on an even plane. Up is nice, but I feel much more serene and content when I just float along without the turbulence of the highs and lows.

But lately, I’ve been in a vortex, being sucked into negative thoughts and feelings that are controlling my days. Or, I’m allowing them to control my days. I’ve been “restless, irritable and discontent.”

I drank mostly because I couldn’t deal with my feelings. I didn’t understand them, and not understanding somehow made me feel insignificant compared to other people, especially women. In my mind, I thought everyone around me, including my family of origin, my then-husband, my friends, co-workers, and even the dog, all had their stuff together and knew not only who they were, but also, their purpose here on earth.

I used to be obsessed with other people and how much I liked them. Or despised them. I would spend–no, waste– hours on their behavior, how they did or didn’t treat me, what they said, didn’t say, what they wore, and on and on.

I also used to be obsessed with money. Or perceived lack of. After my divorce, I lived in constant fear of not having enough. Of not being able to pay the bills. Having to get a second job. But neither of those things ever happened, and when I look back, I see what a waste my worry was.

I have yet to determine why my obsession with others was so consuming. I’m inclined to think it had something to do with poor self esteem, but no outsider would ever have guessed that was my problem. I think it goes deeper than that, but I don’t dwell on it too much. My obsession’s lifted and I’ve become less concerned with what others are doing, and more concerned with myself.

I’ve begun to understand the money thing. The home in which I was brought up sent a subliminal and subtle message that money was good. If you had it, you were successful. If you didn’t, well…you weren’t. Those who had money were somehow better than those who didn’t. And the more you had? The better you were. I equated money with intelligence.  And the sad thing is that as I’m writing this, I realize that I still do.

There have been a few things going on recently that have  those old inadequacies  swimming back to the surface.

And those inadequacies are disturbing my peace. My serenity. I’ve been obsessing, feeling less-than, wondering about finances, wondering if I’m wasting my time writing this blog, if I’ll ever be able to write for money.

If this is as good as it’s going to get.

Now, here’s the irony. When I’m in a balanced, healthy frame of mind, “this” is awesome. I love my life. I love being sober. I’m nuts about my husband. And I’m very content.

Three weeks ago I was in that place.

When I’m living in an unbalanced, unhealthy place, I hate my home, I hate my job, I want more of everything, especially money, and I feel like I’ll never get ahead. The only thing that keeps me from going over the edge is I’m still nuts about my husband. But I don’t always let him know when I’m there.

And that’s where I am lately.

I have a pretty good idea what put me here. And some knowledge of what to do to get out. But it’s like seeing a bad accident, and being unable to look away.

I guess I won’t get serious about getting out until the pain is unbearable.

I don’t really want to wait until then, though.

So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.  Words of wisdom from Al Anon.

Words to live by. If only I could do it everyday.





  1. Definitely sounds like a struggle, I know you’ll pull through though. I wish you good vibes.

    • Thanks for your good wishes. I did pull thru and always do….as a matter of fact, I forgot all about this post. It’s always worse when I’m in the middle of it.
      Thanks for your visit and comment.

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