Structure and Stability in Recovery
"Into the lonely void...I poured a glass of Chardonnay..." Elizabeth Vargas
I have been thinking a lot about what creates this big void inside. You know the void. It is a question to which you do not have an answer. It is a feeling of emptiness and sadness that you cannot fill. For me, it is the question of when I am having children.
I have never been the type of person to worry. I have always been a fly by the seat of my pants sort of gal. I figure what will be will be. But, in reality, I have been squashing my feelings for my entire adult life. I was, like a lot of women, filling this void inside of me with a glass or 15 of wine each day. It worked for me, my alcohol induced happiness and complacency...until it didn't.
So, as a lady that woke up in her mid-30s that is no closer to the structure and stability that she craves, it has become a stressor to field normal conversational questions. When are you getting married? Do you want kids? How old are you? Tick tock. It is not for lack of trying to understand why my relationships for the past 15 years have been stepping stones and not boulders on which to build my family. It is just what it is. Not having answers to simple questions is the root cause of a big void inside of me. But, instead of pouring wine into this void. I am trying to fix the issues that create the void.
How do you fix this void in recovery? You provide yourself structure and stability. In sobriety, this need for structure and stability is pivotal. It becomes non-negotiable. If you allow a non-structured environment to be your lifestyle, you become erratic and the void grows. The want for wine correlates. It is not about controlling your situation. Structure is about being predictable and knowing that you are not creating an environment that will make the void bigger.
The kicker is no one can provide you structure and stability. You have to provide it for yourself. If your relationship is causing a lack of stability, it is toxic to recovery. It is a roadblock to filling the void that you can no longer fill with alcohol. If someone loves you and appreciates your efforts to become whole, they will appreciate your need for predictability. Your need for structure. Your need to have answers to life's questions. Your need to have the bed made in the morning. Bottom line: you have needs and that is more than OK.