Two loads of laundry. The turmoil in Egypt. An inspiring sentence heard at a speaker meeting. It’s going to be hot today. Will I be able to pay the high electric bill? Where did I put my hematite stones? The man I saw at the coffee shop had blissfully smoldering eyes. This new job is taking a toll on my feet. Is there a possible cure for rudeness? I need to go to the store today and get yogurt; not candy.
These were complete thoughts. But that wasn’t enough. They were accompanied by incomplete or fractured thoughts. The characters in my book are… The moon looked different tonight, it was the color of… Cats are arrogant and dogs are… A healthy, loving relationship would…(I’d really like to finish that thought sometime. Maybe.)
Of course, that wasn’t enough either. Swirling within the mix of thoughts were strobe like images so rapid that they never formed into thoughts. Dust. A tatted face. Dexter. Love. T-shirts. Candles. Facebook. “The Conjuring”. (that one was confusing because nearly the entire movie flashed in my mind but did not form a complete thought. Hmm)
And in the background of all this mental activity was a montage of Billy Idol songs…as resonant and concise as if I had been wearing ear buds.
Now get this. All of this occurred during the three minutes it took to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night. It’s like a switch goes on and my mind is like Oh she’s conscious. Lets bug the hell out of her. This is how my addict brain works. Thoughts tumble and crash, sparking like live wires and crackling fires. They have no manners. Even the completed thoughts didn’t wait for one to finish before another started.
For many years when I was drinking, alcohol helped quiet these thoughts. The booze gave my mind a sense of relief. In the last couple years of drinking, alcohol turned on me and made the racing thoughts worse. They grew dark and suicidal in nature.
Now in recovery, daily prayer and meditation help quiet my mind. It is a practice that I have incorporated into my life in the same manner as breathing and eating. Prayer and meditation are that essential to my survival. Because if I don’t pray and mediate, my mind will cause so much pain, I will seek relief in alcohol again and my life will spiral right back down into the abyss.
Because of this daily practice, I was able to return to sleep at once upon returning to bed. I simply took a deep cleansing breath and whispered, Please guide me back to sleep. Except for rare occasions when I don’t feel well, this works every time. I know in my spirit that if I were to stop meditating on a daily basis, the racing thoughts would once again control me and insomnia would return with a vengeance.
Serenity has become as important to me as sobriety. I am willing to take the necessary steps to live in a state of quiet.