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Month 4

I thought the fourth month would be less challenging. I was doing the “program”. I was clean and sober and going to meetings. I was doing yoga and getting a diet down that was nutritional. I was going to church each Sunday. I was praying with my wife each morning and reading a devotional. Where did things go wrong?

I quit going to the outpatient program, Community Outreach Recovery. I had a discussion with my wife about my commitment to “meetings”. She told me that I needed to have balance. There had to be more to my program then going to meetings. In response, I quit going to some meetings, quit going to Community Outreach Recovery, and quit going to the Friday Night Celebrate Recovery.

On Friday nights, my wife and I would go to Yoga over by where my home group was. I really enjoyed that. Restorative yoga consists of meditative breathing and mild stretching.

We decided that Friday would be our date night where we would do yoga and then go to a dinner of movie afterwards.

Later that month she and I decided, mostly at my suggestion, to join a local gym and discovered that the gym included in the cost of membership, yoga classes. The same style of yoga we were doing at the other studio. They were in the morning however and not in the evening as was the other class.

We also agreed to purchase 5 massage visits through the gym and I offered her my first visit.

She went with me to the yoga classes a few times but bowed out after explaining that the classes were exasperating her sciatica. Now we were not going to yoga and the Friday “date night” stopped happening.

Shortly after, she stopped coming to the gym altogether but I kept going and to the yoga class. I was benefiting from the yoga and was developing a routine at the gym. Twenty minutes at step 7 on the stationary bike – about 3½ miles.

My post-acute withdrawal symptoms were still mostly unpredictable. They did not happen every two weeks as before. Now they were happening daily, particularly between 3 pm and 9 pm. During this time, I was increasingly anxious, felt heart palpitations, light-headedness, chills, nausea and general body discomfort.

I was not having the stiff tremors or extreme shakes like before. I did get some shakes, mostly in my jaw and right hand, but nothing like earlier in sobriety.

I usually had to take a pill, a hydroxyzine, 50 milligrams to ward off the intense anxiety. It took effect within an hour and provided a few hours of relief.

I received my 120 day chip. It was November 30th. My wife did not join me. We were fighting. She used the occasion of not having a garage-door opener as the cause of this latest bout. I could tell she was frustrated about a bigger issue. I felt it would come to a head soon.

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