Something you may not know about me
Anxiety has played a role in my life since I was a little girl. It is something that I have been dealing with for many years, and I never ever realized what it was until I got sober. I learned to manage the feelings of social anxiety with alcohol for so long, drinking to give myself confidence in situations that made me feel awkward or nervous. It got to the point that I didn't even realize that was how I felt, or that it was strange to ever experience those feelings. Didn't everyone get nervous walking into a crowded room? Wasn't everyone doubting their ability to feel confident in such a large group?
Turning to alcohol exacerbated my anxiety. I thought I felt safe and relaxed, but drinking only ignited the fear inside me more. Once I stopped drinking, I realize that I was able to tackle these fears and social anxieties so much better. By being aware of how I was feeling going into the situation, that gave me the confidence to approach it with a clearer mind. Now, I don't find the need to lubricate with booze before parties or events, and I don't get nervous butterflies on a regular basis. I am more calm and I have the tools to manage it.
For Mother's Day, I got myself a puppy. That was the big adventure! My husband was a little against the idea, but he has since come around to it. I think he has come to understand that animals and pets are a soothing antidote to the anxieties I often feel.
When I feel scared and anxious, a puppy will always show you love and compassion. A pet will never judge or make you feel unwanted or unloved. I have known and felt this since I was a little girl. I have always relied on the love of a dog.
When I feel dissatisfaction with myself or where I am on my path, I need to remind myself to show that kind of love to myself. The kind of love a dog shows its human. I need to be compassionate towards myself, when I get those scared, anxious feelings. Just because I no longer drink, doesn't mean the anxieties are miraculously disappeared. Coping with them is still something I am learning to do, I am just thankful that I don't have alcohol amplifying and making my emotions so much worse. I am not spiraling anymore.
So my new 9 week old puppy, Moose, is a reminder to us all. We all need a little more love. A little more compassion. A little less judgement. Everyone gets scared. We all share that as a common form of humanity, but we must be kind and patient with ourselves. Just as I am being kind and patient with Moose, as he poops on the floor for the second time today.