I've moved over 30 times in my life. I spent a good solid chunk of my childhood in one place, but as soon as I turned 18, I was off on an intrepid quest of misled wanderlust of such passion that it took17 years to settle back down again. Dustin, being an army brat and nomad in his own right, can add another 30 of his own moves on top of my list, making us a veritable power couple of rootlessness.
I was always a self-dubbed Routinophobe. The thought of doing the same thing every day with any consistency terrified me, resulting in a spotty work history, but an impressive world map of places visited. I would quickly become dissatisfied with any home or workplace based on a variety of reasons (too many of which were directly or indirectly related to my alcohol abuse), and I would move on to seemingly greener pastures like a serial monogamist.
All this made for fascinating stories, but a total lack of self-discipline was an unintended side effect of my flightiness, due to a tendency to flee when any measure of discomfort would arise. All this whimsical flitting around kept me from developing any solid experience with working through the difficulties inherent to long term professional and social relations, and this deeply affected my alcoholism.
They say addiction thrives on isolation. Living in Vermont is a beautiful experience, but we happened to be 40 minutes away from the nearest affordable grocery store, and hours away from most friends and family. When Dustin suggested early in my sobriety that we move closer to my hometown in New Hampshire, I was exhausted. I was raw, worn down, and world weary, and the thought of yet another move made me nauseous. I was worried that it was too much upheaval too soon.
Of course, it turns out to have been the best move we've ever made. We found the perfect apartment in a small town with access to a million hiking trails, amazing schools, a tight knit community, and all within 30 minutes of large cities/friends/family. I almost immediately landed an amazing job that pays more than I've ever made (by a long shot), and I actually like it!
The difference is, well, everything. Everything changed- my perspective, my physiology, my neural pathways- everything has changed since I became sober. That rawness that was so pervasive and overwhelming in early sobriety has now become a clear awareness that I rarely experienced during my years of drinking. The saying in AA is "people, places and things". I changed them all, the most dramatic of which was my home, and it was the healthiest change I've ever made.
I'm still struggling to nail down a routine, but I'm no longer deathly afraid of consistency. I feel like I have purged that fear, along with the other poisons, out of my system. If it wasn't for an increased predictability throughout my days, getting and staying sober would have been a lot harder.
All these changes have been astonishingly powerful in the most positive ways. I am developing a stronger sense of self worth, and a confidence in my own abilities to do things right is beginning to grow within me. I know there are a lot of hurdles ahead, but I'm not afraid to do the work now. I'm not running anymore. I'm going to dig my toes into the soil here, and grow some roots. No more wandering. I've found what I've always been searching for, and it was with me the whole time.