The Wrong Side Of The Bed

Those in recovery have to be especially mindful on bad days.

Some days, there are four wrong sides to the bed and we crawled out of every one of them.

The way we feel when we wake up gives us an idea of how our day may go. Sometime we just feel off-balance, edgy and out of sorts. Little things bug us: the water in the shower takes too long to get warm; someone forgot to put the cap back on the toothpaste for the thousandth time, “someone” (certainly not us!) forgot to fill the coffee-maker last night so we have to wait ten f****g minutes for our first cup! We’ve all been there; there are mornings when there are four wrong sides to the bed and we feel as though we crawled out on every one of them.

We all have bad days; it’s part of the human condition. Maybe we didn’t get enough sleep. Maybe the baby woke us up with an earache and we hardly got any sleep at all. Maybe we had a fuss with a partner, or too much coffee. Or maybe we don’t know why we’re in a bad mood. It happens.

Better Choices May Offset Bad Days

But one thing is for sure: starting the day that way means that something’s up, and because we aren’t at our strongest emotionally, we have to take special care with our recovery. We can start by eating a decent breakfast instead of coffee and a doughnut at the local fat dispensary. Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired is not just a cute acronym for clubhouse walls. Sugars and fats mess up our blood sugar, helped along by caffeine, and that kind of breakfast can create a rough morning all by itself. Combine it with tired and grumpy, and lonely is right around the corner, because no one likes a grouch.

So what we need to do, whether we feel like it or not, is reach out to others in the program. We can make a phone call to someone we know is also an early riser (or late, as the case may be), read some program literature, or journal about how we’re feeling. If we know we have things ahead of us that we’ll have difficulty addressing, like a chat with the boss, we can journal about ways to handle it. That forces us to think more or less clearly about it, and we will likely approach the meeting – or whatever – better prepared. We can write some affirmations to take with us and read just before we go in.

Feeling Irritable? Watch Out for Triggers

If our issues seem to be related to wanting to act out in our addictions, we can make more phone calls, plan the night before to hit an early meeting, and call our sponsor and let him or her in on the planning. We need to be especially careful about people, places and things that can trigger us. A shaky day is not the time to have lunch with people who will order a drink, catch a burger at the local sports bar, or spend time in places where we used to act out our addictions, whatever they may be.

If we have been in the program for a while, we will likely do these things almost automatically, but even old-timers have bad days, and everyone needs to be careful when those times come along. We can think ahead, prepare for rough spots, and act before we are triggered – or worse. It’s much easier than picking up the pieces afterward.

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