At about the six month period of being sober, I started dealing with bouts of depression. Unless I was fully engaged in a conversation or activity, I found I would sit and wonder when I would feel “normal”. Problem was, I didn’t know what “normal” was.
I had spent years being under the influence day in and day out. Drunk was “normal”. Suddenly, I was sober and didn’t know how to handle it! I didn’t want to go through all the effort to be sober and feel like shit.
I did notice that when I was at an AA meeting or doing service work, I felt normal and felt joy in my life. I took that one step farther and went back to reading the Big Book, especially the stories in the back.
I think I didn’t feel “normal” because I had stopped connecting with people who were just like me. I was trying to identify with a group of people (non-alcoholics and addicts) when, at this point in my recovery, I still need to connect with my AA brothers and sisters while learning to navigate among “normal” people.
The other thing I did that got me out of the funk was listening and learning. When I had been sober for 6 or so months, I thought I was well on the road to sobriety. Sobriety, for me, is being sober, happy and hopeful. I was sober, but not happy or hopeful. I’m happy helping others; with being sober and happy, I find it’s easier to have hope for my future.
I’ve listened to others and learned the feelings I and you are having are normal. Hang in there. Talk to and listen to others. Maybe you’ll find helping others will take your focus off of you, like it does for me.
Without happiness and hope, I’m a lonely and down guy. With happiness and a hopeful future, I’m living sobriety. I’m still learning how to do that, but I know that sobriety is reachable.
Sorry this was so long. I pray that you and all of us find sobriety!