Where is my spark?

I don’t know what word to use, so I’m using spark. I feel sometimes as though I’m serious, everything is serious and I’m struggling to find lightness and fun and just the joie de vivre. I feel like I’ve lost my spark. Drinking made me believe I still had it. Going sober has made me uber conscious that I’m just trauma ridden, nasty, heavy, annoying, serious, dull, boring, angry, depressed… See??! I mean, :persevere: I struggle to find joie, carefree vibes…

Listen, I’m not looking for a pick me up, I’m looking to look at this square in the face. I feel like I’ve lost my spark , my lightness, and I don’t know how to get it back. Did I even have it in the first place? What is carefree?

Thoughts? Tips?

Thanks.

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You most certainly did have spark, and still do.
The problem with a thoughtful mind sometimes is that it thinks too much. Don’t know how to solve that one though as i do it myself.

Funny though…i was thinking these exact thoughts only a day or two ago.

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What were you thinking if you don’t mind my over thinking self? I’d love to hear what sparked it.

Thanks for the reassurance as well .

I feel the same way right now, I have been sober from alcohol and meth for 11 days. I however in the past have felt unworthy, undeserving, ugly, stupid, socially awkward all of that nasty stuff that my mind told me was why I needed to drink or do drugs. I am feeling that now at 11 days sober, however I have had long term sobriety a few times and I promise it will pass. I feel like it’s the bargaining part of my grief and loss for the substance. I dont know if that makes sense. I sure does in my head lol. Keep your head up and put yourself around kind healthy people and you will get your spark back!!!

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Brilliant. It totally does feel like that part of the bargening of the grief process, yes… It’s tied to it, in some way. And I’m maybe unraveling it a little.

Just keep your head up and keep on trucking, talk about how you feel with people you trust. I always reassure myself that there is no way that I was more awsome drunk or high then I am sober. I tend to gain alot of weight when I’m sober and usually start feeling pretty self conscious about it. But then I look in the mirror and say out loud…Even though I’m chubby, I’ll still be good looking, lol. :joy::joy::joy::joy:

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It’s like dancing sober. Hard as hell to do when you’ve always had a few under the belt before shaking your moneymaker. Instead of being artificially relaxed and tuned out of everything except the rhythm, you have to consciously filter, you have to deliberately relax. You have to mentally push back those fears of looking ridiculous, because when you were drunk, none of this mattered.

You haven’t lost “it”. You’ve taken the “red pill”. Everyone else who drinks and drugs is stuck in a pod, jacked into an illusion. You? You know reality. You know what it feels like to bang your shin. It hurts. You know what it’s like to feel real joy. You’ve learned to laugh and find humor in real things Rather than the manic highs and lows of stormy addiction, you ride the gentle crests and swells of a following sea. Head up, chin forward, shoulders back. The fire is within you.

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I liked that Yoda, so true.

Have you tried volunteering? Or being of service?

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You solve it by giving the “drunken monkey” aka your EGO, which is that voice inside your head that never stops chattering , a job to do.

You say , “drunken monkey, focus on the breath please”.

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I’m glad you posted this because I needed to hear this today…Thank you.:heart:

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Thanks @Yoda-Stevie, all so true.

@Englishd been there, done that, still doing it, that never ended with me! Being of service is truly important, to be able to engage in the gift of giving. I may have to reevaluate what I’m getting out of it. I’ve been thinking about rocking babies at the hospital.

@dust giving the mind ego something to do in the moment, great advice.

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Do the opposite then and go out and treat yo self

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Spark sounds right on the money for word choice.

I feel like I’m in the process of rediscovering my spark right now, gradually, starting maybe a couple of months ago. It’s too soon to say at this point if that’s true. But it certainly seems like I’ve experienced an increased flow of lightness and fun, feeling more organic and less analytical. It’s not a big all-or-nothing thing for me, it’s gone away and come back to varying degrees throughout my adult life (when I was a kid, it seemed to just be “always on”). I have also noticed a correlation between this spark and artistic inspiration throughout my life.

I only have wild intuitive guesses about it; it resists analysis. If you are interested in my hand-wavy thoughts about it anyways, here goes…

I think it’s a timid little thing. If I try to chase after it, it’ll go away and hide. Or dodge, like when you try to grasp a little fluff wafting through the air that always goes around your hand. I can’t try to make it consistent or increase it when I want to, because it won’t be controlled. When I try to control, I get this need for results, correctness, structures of my choosing, and those thoughts monopolize the space that my spark needs to roam free. I need to feed the spark, but also stay out of its way, give it room to roam, to develop itself.

I also don’t think it ever really went away. I thought it did, but I suspect I just lost my ability to see it, like how Hobbes has the form of just a stuffed animal when Calvin’s parents are watching.

I think being inspired by other people’s spark helps reawaken my own. It can be a movie about someone pursuing their passion. It can be people-watching a person who is totally just themselves and fully alive, and not even aware of how it shows. Kids especially! It can even be sorting through projects I’ve abandoned in the planning stages, reliving the moments when I had that excitement pulsing through me.

I also find perspective really valuable. I spend too much time in my head thinking about my life, and I breathe easier when I can correct that. Thinking about other people. Thinking about other phenomena in the world that I’m not directly part of. Thinking about my relationship to the world as a whole. Thinking about my relationship to my Higher Power. It has a way of shrinking whatever is feeling suffocating, hostile, or dead. So, meditation, mindfulness, prayer, social engagement. Doing things you haven’t done before without expectations. It’s a good creativity stimulator too.

It’s not that have any particular success in any of these areas, but relative change, “better than before” is meaningful.

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About six months ago, before I bottomed out after a night of heavy drinking and almost getting my face beat in, I gave up on a dream I had been chasing for 20 years. It left me empty, and I feel like I had lost my identity. I was an “artist”. When an artist loses their passion it’s over and mine was fully gone. I’m American, and we often define ourselves by what we do. Ask someone in the US what they do, and they will say “I am xyx”. It’s why a job loss can be so painful in so many ways. It’s tied to our identity.

So I lost my identity and passion. And I was a drunk, stoned, angry, broke, middle aged failed artist. I just gave up. Did I mention angry? I was pissed. And I wanted to die. It’s all I thought about. I made really elaborate plans on how to kill myself to minimize the pain I would cause my friends and family.

Then I really bottomed out, after a night of heavy drinking and like I said almost getting my ass kicked real bad. At that point I had no idea what to do. So I saw a therapist, who laughed when I told her I had suicidal ideation. Then I really got mad and she got the full effect.

From that I point I started rebuilding myself, starting with who I really am, underneath the labels, the money, the career, the relationships. I found this app and stopped drinking. I do not give fuck what anyone thinks about anything at this point, I am gonna do my thing. My wife wants to leave me? Fine. Friends want to bail? Fuck them. I’m good.

I’ve been on this app everyday since then. I guess the point of all this is that underneath all that, my passion for life came back out. I feel good almost everyday. I laugh a lot, joke constantly, and for the most part enjoy each day. I’m not rich, I will likely never have a decent career, but I am enjoying myself and not worrying about. I have a lot of artist friends still and we talk about this stuff all the time so this is a topic that is quite emotional for me. The passion and spark is still there. You just need to strip away whatever is covering it up. I don’t know what that might be in your case. Chill out, relax, and learn about what is deep in your heart. That will guide you. Whew.

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This is straight up genius.

I was anticipating your response with actual giddiness, I knew you would speak directly to the spirit of what I’m trying to say. It is free, the fool, the elusive breath of fresh air, wonder and it’s so true we see it in others. And I want to talk about that too. Is it possible to be too much, I mean speaking about me who struggles with codependency, living lightness vicariously through others, and now understanding this and struggling to manifest it myself? I think I can easily see it in others and have gravitated towards this energy but not really able to find my own. And what if my own looks so different? I guess there is shame in my own joy. Does that make sense?

Anyways , thank you so much for this!! So insightful I need to go read it again. Anyways, that lightness was in that post!! :sparkles:

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Thank you.

I too actually had to go through a process of losing my work identity, and what came after was not pretty. I felt like I was losing my marbles. I was a helper, someone who rescued people and when this almost broke my body/soul and I realized I drank to cope with misery, and stress, and ++, I was at a total and utter loss.

I love how much determination there is in your post, mostly about being out own biggest supporter. Having the confidence to just, love life against odds.

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No problem Liv! I’m happy if anything I write helps, even just a little!! I really hope you start feeling better, and find something to feel passionate about :blush:

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Just like anything that isnt instant gratification (by using drugs/alcohol) these things you seek are learned. Dont be afraid to start researching social skills and using social experiments watch stand up learn from them. Start being more yourself without thinking with people you are comfortable with (coworkers work best for me.) Dont overthink it. Play a prank on someone, it turns into a back and forth war at work with us and really brings out our true playfulness. I was the same way in the beginning, but as I got used to it and I was getting over the shame of being such a down and outer I said screw the past and I really wanted to make where I spent most of my time more fun. It all started with a bottle of baby powder thrown into a fan at a coworker and here we are 6 months later constantly scheming and pranking making the day fly by. I got sprayed in the neck today with a can of raid so it does go a little too far sometimes but store morale is at an all time high and we all have a sense of comrodery that cant be broken. Unless we find better paying jobs. Other people are afraid to show this spark, so sometimes you have to be the one to create the spark. Be weird, be original, be you. Throw that baby powder.

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i’d say, find something you love and try to do it everyday. start with the little things that bring you joy. maybe thats buying flowers regularly to have something beautiful to look at? or adding a little something to your routine that makes you feel more beautiful.

i’ve hit low periods, too… we all have. it sucks. and this too shall pass.

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