359 days booze free, 343 smoke free

I’ve been wanting to hide for a week. I resigned from my job (of seven whole months) to take an amazing role at a startup in San Francisco. I’ll be working remote, mostly, from my home in Seattle. It’s SO so good. But this past week at work has felt pretty much awful. And in all my free time at work and at home I’ve felt guilty and weird and UNCOMFORTABLE. Major discomfort.

What I want to do is just snap my fingers and be out of my current job without any hard feelings or loss of reputation, and move directly to “I’m happy and comfortable at my new job”. But I know that can’t happen. There’s so much anxiety yet to be lived through.

First, there’s the actual leaving of the job (next week is my last week). With that comes all the good-byes, the many nuanced variations on my story that I’ll tell people, fielding the many assumptions about why I’m leaving, people telling me my story for me, the linkein frenzy, and then the middle of the night: “did I make a mistake??” ruminations.

Then after being done with my current job, there’s the blessed break I am taking in between jobs. Three whole weeks. I can’t really truly comfortably afford to take off three weeks unpaid, but I’m doing it because it is a special chance to do it. Because I technically can do it, financially, even if it’s kind of dumb. But I want it. Or, really, I wanted it back when I wanted to quit my job so badly. Now I’m just feeling anxious about those three weeks. My husband and I are doing a road trip to Palm Springs to visit his dad and step-mom. It will be so relaxing, I know. And honestly, it’s the cheapest vacation ever. But I’m worried. I’m worried my husband and I will fight on the long ass drive. I’m worried I’ll spend too much money. I’m worried I won’t really relax properly during this ONE CHANCE I have in between jobs to relax without checking email.

After Palm Springs I’m flying to NYC for the SheRecovers event where I will meet literally hundreds of women in person after knowing them intimately online in private sober groups on Facebook. It’s intense as a prospect, let alone as the icing on the cake of my magical time off and fancy new job at a cool startup in San Francisco.

And then there’s the starting of the new job. We all know that anxiety. It’s hard work. It’s new people. It’s proving myself while staying low profile until I actually have a meaningful thing to contribute. It’s a lot of pressure, and I’m nervous about it.

So, with all of this shit to worry about, I then think: what the fuck is my problem? Literally every single one of my big problems are the definition of great problems to have. So I feel unsettled and weird and privileged and like a fat ugly American who has too much and wants too much. This big gluttonous girl doesn’t deserve one stitch of this goodness.

And all I want to do is escape.

I’ve been clocking 9+ hours of sleep every night and dragging my ass out of bed in the morning. I’m drained and anxious. I recently started walking again to get out of my head. I’ve been eating a little more sugar for escape, but also consciously getting more fiber and fruits and veggies so my bod doesn’t feel bloated and extra tired. I’ve been listening to my Isabel Foxen Duke “stop fighting food” modules and coaching calls. I’m trying really hard to take care of myself in the best way I know. And you know what? It’s working. And the anxiety does pass for little periods of time.

But you know what else? With all this (first world) anxiety, I still haven’t wanted to drink or smoke. Not once. I did think about it a couple of weeks ago, but not now. Not while I’m squirming with itchy discomfort over all the crazy changes in my life.

I remember reading Holly Whitaker’s list (on www.hipsobriety.com) of a million things that she accomplished or that got better since she quit drinking and thinking to myself: BULLSHIT. It’s utter bullshit. It’s not all because she quit drinking. That’s absurd. But is it?

My next post will be a proper list of the new and good stuff that’s happened in this past year of being sober and smoke free, but as I sit back and think about it, there’s a lot that has happened. Maybe the best part is my improved connection to my true self and with new friends. But there’s other stuff too. 🙂





2 thoughts on “359 days booze free, 343 smoke free

  1. It’s impossible to say for certain whether one change in your life causes other changes, because everything we do is interconnected. There are positive and negative feedback loops going on all the time. One change can be a catalyst for another, but that second positive change feeds into other changes as much as the first one did. As long as everything is moving in a positive direction, I say just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t worry about all the chains of causation.

    Best of luck with the new venture! You’re smart to take time off in between jobs. I once went from leaving one job on a Friday to starting the next job – with no vacation time accrued – the following Monday. Huge mistake. I burned out so fast it was unreal.


  2. Ooh, stop by and see me on your trip, I’m right off of I-5 in Salem! Good idea taking time off, it’s hard with a new job to take vacation right away. Also outstanding booze/smoke/diet quitting year 😀 for you!


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