I get tired, I lose interest, I get frustrated much more easily and I'll begin to lose contact with any peace and serenity I may have had. Balance, emotional balance has been a desirable, tangible state of being for me. Lets face it, when you alter your state artificially w/booze or drugs regularly, one tends to operate at the extremes.
I was either way up, feeling good, full of energy, playful, humorous, cooperative, etc, etc. The other end of the spectrum was when I felt low, down, depressed. Everything was a chore, I became cynical, surely, uncooperative, angry, lethargic, difficult, uncommunicative...not a nice person. A man fueled by anger...
In both states, at each extreme I was unpredictable...my moods could and would change in an instant. Surprising even myself, not to mention those I worked with or lived with. It was an impossible way to live, never feeling settled, no calmness, no serenity...I had no idea what people were talking about when they said something about feeling peaceful or "at peace". I was at WAR, emotionally, my moods as I've described were all over the place. I was at war physically, I filled my body full of poison essentially and I was sick...sick when I was under the influence and sick in withdraw when I stopped taking drugs or didn't drink enough.
Psychologically, yep at war as well, trying this and trying that to make myself feel better about my life. Raging at myself for not being perfect yet raging at others because I thought they judged me as inferior...hell, they weren't thinking about me! They were busy living their lives. The war of self-worth was being waged in my head: "The WAR Between My Ears", frankly I'm shocked that I actually survived it. So much anger and hatred turned inward....
The most insidious, painful war of them all: The Spiritual War. There is a term often used among those of us in recovery, Soul Sickness. It has become a favorite of mine only because it accurately captures the way that I felt. I felt so sick, emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually...that my very being, my essence of life, my very Soul was sick, filled with disease, sickness. I actually remember feeling this way...staring into a mirror and the skeletal, haunted looking eyes looking back at me in total condemnation for what I had done and what I was continuing to do to myself. I hated me...
That is the way that I felt, not just at the very end...no but at various points along the way. That feeling, of being Soul Sick is the reason I mention things such as having to change my whole way of looking at life. My philosophy had to change, my behavior, how I treated others, how I treated myself.
I went through a process (not always willingly, I confess) out of necessity to strip my self to the bare essentials and open my mind to the possibility of change. A total and complete transformation effecting all the various aspects that make up a human being: The Physical, Emotional, Psychological and finally the Spiritual. To me my spirituality is the glue holding the rest together. At least that is how I am beginning to see it.
This has not been an easy transformation, it hasn't been smooth, far, far from it. It also isn't complete, again the finish line doesn't even begin to appear on any horizon that I can see. This is another of those life, long journeys, this transformation. It is a life long Marathon...it was never meant to be a sprint.
I do not have any of this figured out yet I wake up and willingly move out on the road of Happy Destiny, never quite sure what I will find. Though I have no answer per say, I know that I'm growing, day by day...becoming more like the person I always wanted to be. A kind, caring person...a good listener a dependable friend. God knows I was never one of those!
Those examples are but a tip of the iceberg of who I believe I can be. Of what I aspire to be...a well balanced person, a person of balance..a well balanced soul. hard to see, I know...it has been for me as well but deep down I knew long ago that I was living in violation of my conscience. It sickened all sides of me to the point that even my very soul became ill.
I trust the same nudges when they assure me that even though I sometime can't figure out why I am doing certain things, that I am on the correct road for this journey. My trip of a life time, a life long spiritual journey, my very last trip...I'm on my way home.