One day, I’m feeling overly confident submitting grad school applications left and right. Next day, I’m down and thinking I don’t even deserve to get into any of them. Now….drum roll…I’ve gotten the news that I’m accepted into a program starting in January! Wow, how drastically the world can feel when living life with anxiety.
Yesterday, I started my day with that great news! And then I got to do something I’ve sort of missed out on with sobriety. In giving up alcohol, at first, I was ashamed and embarassed that people would look differently at me. As time went on, I developed this sense of “not everyone deserves my story” because quite frankly, not everyone does. People often aren’t educated about addiction and telling those people my story just opens the door for judgement that this socially anxious girl doesn’t need. So, I’ve spent over 2 years making amazing changes in my life – growing and becoming a completetly different person – but haven’t really shared it with anyone (other than my husband and fellow sober friends). Yesterday, that completely changed! I got to tell the world that I am a new person… with new goals, new interests, and new pursuits!
I didn’t have to tell the world all about my past problems. I now have a reason to just announce my change! This new school adventure… this new career pursuit… gave me the opportunity to finally share this new side of me without having to get too personal with every “friend” on my feed. Guys and gals, it felt AMAZING! I got to say…”Hey world. This is the new me! I care about mental health and addiction, and I’m going to do something about it”!
You know what else I got to do? I got to give notice to my toxic consulting clients! The worst of my clients did exactly what I expected. She was furious and said All. The. Shitty. Things. And guess what? I don’t care. I was able to tell her – “This is how it is. Either take advantage of the time I’m still here to help… or waste it being pissed. Your choice”. Good riddance!
I know that going back to school is going to be HARD. I know that going into a new field in my 40s is going to be CHALLENGING. I know that there will be unexpected downsides to this path. Every path we choose has plusses and minusses. I’m hoping doing something good in the world and helping people… will outweight whatever minusses come along with it.
Last time I posted, I talked about how I made the decision to go back to school and change career paths. I want to become a mental health counselor. I am still very excited about the decision, but today I am feeling a lot of doubt. Do I really have any shot of making this happen?
Last week, I got word that I was turned down by one of the three schools I applied to. It’s funny, because I had actually decided I didn’t want to go to their program after all…but then they gave me the form letter rejection, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I actually wish I hadn’t gotten the notice until after my next school interview – because it really shook my confidence. Logically, I know that I was never guaranteed to get into the program. They get 100s of applicants and were only selecting 6. I’m a great human being, but I’m not necessarily top 6 of 100s.
I just got home from a group interview from a second school. In that interview, every other applicant was already in the field! For every question, they could speak to how they’ve already encountered it professionally or how they’ve been trained to. Then there’s little ol me. I work in a completely different field. Most of my experiences related to therapy are related to my own personal therapy journey. Many of the reasons I think I would be good as a counselor are related to my mentoring within sobriety – which I have no desire to even discuss publicly. The other candidates seem to already know exactly what they want to do, what will be involved, and how to articulate it. Meanwhile, my social anxiety was alive and kicking in a way I haven’t seen in over a decade. I just couldn’t get the words out of my mouth.
I don’t believe I did great on the group interview. Maybe, it’s just a case of me needing to know what a group interview is like. After all, I’ve never been in an interview with other candidates before. Or maybe, I’m not far enough along to really deserve to be there. What gives me the right to decide to go into this new field with little to no experience in it? On the other hand, this is a field where there is a shortage of professionals AND an increase of patients. Why is it so damn hard to get into a program when you’re willing to cast aside a successful career to get involved and help?
I should hear back from this 2nd school at the end of the week. I’m either going to get great news… and then can start planning for how I will tackle social anxiety on a weekly basis while role playing and presenting things in front of groups of people LOL…or I’ll get bad news and then have to reevaluate what I’m going to do differently. Either way, I know it will all work out in the end. It always does.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! It has been awhile since I’ve blogged. After getting through the initial “firsts” and becoming pretty stable in not drinking- I haven’t felt like I have had much to say. But, this blog isn’t just about sobriety. It is about life after drinking. Yes, getting sober was very difficult . Yes, there were many tools and techniques I had to learn. Yes, there was and still is support needed, but also…those things eventually just become the new normal. That is all just the way life is – using all of my tools, self-care, and support in everyday life. What I’ve learned is that I drank because I didn’t have healthy coping tools…and you actually need those just to live life. And now, I have them…and use them everyday!
So what is there to talk about? Well, how about how I am no longer held back? How about how I have a hope in life that I was never capable of having before? How about how I am a completely different person…and yet somehow the person I’ve always been?
I made a huge decision recently. I decided to career change! There are some things I really love about my current work, but it feels empty at the end of the day. I am a consultant. I help companies discover and solve problems. While I love the analytical nature – the research, coaching, problem solving – what is missing is that rewarding part… the part where I make a difference in something that matters. I’ve been seeking purpose since I got sober. Recently, it hit me – what if I didn’t use these skills to solve companies problems… what if I helped solve people’s problems instead?
I have always loved psychology, mental health, and wellness as subjects. I am frequently following articles, blogs, and studies in that area and have been for as long as I can remember. Why not take what I am drawn to, combine it with my current work skills, and make a real difference?! So… I’m in the process of applying to grad schools, and signing up to volunteer with a crisis line!
It is gonna happen guys and gals! I know it won’t be easy and that there will be obstacles I didn’t expect. But ya know what else? I know I can tackle anything I set out to do! Ya know why I know that? Because I have faced many difficulties and gotten through them. Somehow…someway…I always make it happen. Getting sober gave me an unexpected gift- the ability to trust and believe in myself.
Happy Thursday, everyone! I am on the third and final day of my little weekday escape. I have had the most amazing time this week. Life is really beautiful, isn’t it?
I have spent the last two days, meditating, reading, listening to my favorite music, sitting outside in nature, watching sappy romcoms, and going to the spa. My soul feels healthy and happy. My heart feels full of love.
I have a lot to be thankful for. While I do suffer from anxety, and addiction took more from me than it was ever worth – I have a full and beautiful life. I have a meaningful marriage – a true partnership. I have sweet dogs who love me unconditionally and are always there to throw a curve ball in any boring day. I have every opportunity I could ever ask for.
Today, I am grateful.
2 years! It has been 2 fucking years since I cut alcohol out of my life. In some ways, it seems like a miraculous victory. In other ways, it feels like no big deal anymore. But, I’m not going to let that “no big deal anymore” feeling take away this joy.
2 years ago, I saw things that needed to change in my life, and I did what I had to do to make it happen. I made a decision and followed it through. Sure, I second-guessed the decision hundreds of times, but I trusted “my why” and stuck-the-fuck-at-it. I was miserable, stuck, desperate, but hopeful. And guess what? Everything I thought I’d miss – I don’t. Everything I thought I’d gain, I got …plus SO MANY MORE THINGS that I didn’t even know I was missing.
I am somehow both a completely different person…and yet every bit ME as I’ve ever been. I am still a walking rom-com at times, but that’s me, and I love everything about that. I may still overthink things. I may still worry and suffer with anxiety. I may still have self doubt sometimes, but I also know that I can do anything I put my mind to. I know I can face challenge and adversity. I know that pain, anxiety, and doubt are all temporary feelings. I know how to take deep breaths, meditate, discuss my feelings, and sit and trust that things will work out.
Honestly, what more could I ask for?