Bubbles of feelings float to the surface of consciousness. Ahh! How lovely … MMM?

Before Day 1, my emotions were pretty much hidden from my view.

Pre beer-o’clock, my feelings were there, but they played 2nd fiddle to, and were covered by, a whole host of consuming activities ranging from managing my business responsibilities to those of my domestic/family life. I hit the road hard at 5am and it was 100mph through to the afternoon (and ‘a well-earned beer’ so I thought).

Post beer-o’clock, my feelings were gently sedated.

I didn’t intentionally hide my emotional-self away, nor did I purposely bury it, nor was I even aware that I might be doing this. My emotional-self was pushed off centre stage as a casualty/side effect of my lifestyle.

Jump forward to present day (Day 35!!!! OMG!). My lifestyle has altered and my conscious-self and my emotional-self are cohabitating. Like all roomies, they are learning to get along.

If that doesn’t sound tricky enough, take into account that, as a consequence of being permanently sober, I have additional time, extra energy and a much more alert and inquisitive mind. I say ‘yes’ to many more activities, events and experiences. My world just got a lot BIGGER.

Being human means having mental and emotional reactions to stuff. The more stuff, the more reactions.

Here’s my simile for helping me picture what life was like and how it has changed:

Before Day 1, once duties and responsibilities were all taken care of, I would open the back door of my house and exit into my secret garden. It was a place where I would spend the rest of the day dreaming and thinking but doing little else of substance (This is probably over harsh, but still kinda accurate). The surrounding hedges were high and it felt private and safe. It was filled with flowers and was pretty and peaceful. A table and comfy chair awaited me in the shade. My books and TV remote were on the table and a beer fridge was within easy reach, just under the apple tree. I hoped for no visitors to disturb me.

After Day 1, I open the back door and am confronted by a view of HUGE countryside. There are hills, dales, streams, mountains, becks, and valleys. There are sweet sheep in the fields but also a scary bull with sharp horns. The sun is shining but I see storm clouds on the horizon. There are people in sight. Some look kind but others are fearsome. I see a swarm of bees and a flock of birds. I feel a warmth on my skin and a gentle breeze on my cheek. There is a, seemingly, endless view of infinite possibilities. Everything I might need or want to embark on an adventure is free and available.

After day 1 is: Scary, exciting, fearsome, worrying, amazing, celebratory, funny, and alarming. There are decisions to make. Surprise and disappointment are also waiting in the wings to add their contribution to the potential and real party-pooper cocktail of emotions all exploding onto the scene and juggling for face time.

My conscious self, who might have been expecting to meet his new roomy says: “Who the F**k are all you guys!!??”

I reply to my conscious mind: “They are your new friends. Take your time and get to know them and learn their peculiar ways (It’ll be well worth it). Some are more challenging than others, but they all have their own intended place in our life”.