No one climbs a mountain, gets to the top, and says “I should have been content to stay where I was.”

 

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“Your destiny is the consequences of your daily decisions.”

I’m currently working through The 30-Day Sobriety Solution and came across that quote in the very first day’s exercise. It ran through my head as I fell asleep last night. They also mention that NOT making a decision is really making a decision.

I feel like I’ve heard this in many different ways, but this is the first time it’s really sinking in. It’s like the butterfly effect of your life – every decision adds up to who you become. There really aren’t any days off. Even those “days off” or “one last hurrah” become a part of your future self.

I know one of the statements here is to “play the tape forward” but there’s a meditation exercise that was recommended in the book that I did this morning that really brought it home for me. I will probably revisit it often:The Time Travel Technique.

Comfort with Friends

I’m finally starting to feel like a normal person after the weekend blackout.  I went to a funeral today for what is probably one of the neatest guys I’ve ever met.  One of those people that just welcomes everyone, tells great stories, works hard, and cultivates talent and interests in his life.  He lived a full life, but suffered a stroke four years ago and has spent that time in a wheelchair with round the clock care.  That’s after intensive physical therapy.  He was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in June, and passed away about three weeks ago.  It makes you think about how you want to live.

There were so many people that loved him, it was a good celebration of life.  I got to see some ladies that I love and talk books with them.  I took the rest of the afternoon off and am now sitting on the deck watching some friends play backgammon while reading the internet.

No one hates me, the sky is still blue.

But that doesn’t mean I can drink.  The bad feelings are fading, and this is usually a classic time to think about drinking.  Because why not?  But I don’t want to.  I want to grow beyond the square one of just “not feeling bad” or “feeling good.” I want to feel competent and ready.  Not worry about the future or wonder when the next crash will be.

I’ve got to get this out.

I’m terrified of being sober, I’m scared that I am not a worthwhile person.  I don’t think I know who I am if I am not altered in some way (drugs, booze, etc.) and I don’t know what to do about it.  I’m at work and I am so anxious I want to scream.

I know that staying sober with my heart open is a key to this, but I can’t let go of this nagging feeling that I will just be alone forever, and that I’m unworthy of anything else.  I don’t know how to talk to people.  Last night someone at AA that is also just starting out asked me for my number and I like, hesitated shittily and told her that I don’t know if I’d be very good support.  She said “it’s just so we don’t have to walk into meetings alone.”  I texted her about a meeting I’m going to tomorrow and she didn’t text back – likely because I reacted that way.

I think I naturally make people uncomfortable because I am so uncomfortable.  I hate it.

This weekend a dude said that my only friend is my sister.  I don’t think he was joking and it’s sad because it’s true.  I don’t have anything to offer unless there are chemicals involved – so I can feel more comfortable, and so the people around me are more comfortable and accepting.

It’s fucked.  This sounds like I am fishing for someone to tell me that I am worthwhile but I’m not.  I know deep down that all of this stuff isn’t true and that everyone is worthy of love, and things will get better the more time I have behind me.

But I feel even deeper down that all of this is true and that it will never get better.  I remember how I felt as a child, when I was so uncomfortable, and I would act out for attention, thinking that if I was louder people would think I was confident.  Then I found booze.  And I was confident.  And loud.

Now I don’t know who I am.

Nothing changes.  I mean, I’m 37 years old and have run the gamut of addictive behavior, even while lifting myself up and doing well in other areas of my life.

I really believe in the whole “drinking is a symptom” thing, and my symptom is…I don’t like myself.  I’ve been heavily binge drinking since I was about 14.  I don’t have any friendships that I haven’t made/maintained through drinking (except my sister which doesn’t really count because she’d family and kind of shitty).  I do okay at work, etc.  Well, not really.  I don’t have any friends there, and am rather abrasive, but I get by. I don’t think I ever really developed any social skills since starting to drink as young as I did.

At this point in my life, I sometimes don’t even want to drink, I just do it to be around people.  And drunk people like me.  Because drunk people like everyone.

Also – drinking is a chance to possibly get attention from men, because being attractive and having someone want me is the only way I understand being a valuable person.  (I’m NOT super attractive, which is why this is ironic.  I’m okay, but like, nothing that stands out in a crowd.)  Even though this goes against my feminist  beliefs, it is a deeply held thought that I just can’t seem to let go of.  I’m incredibly lonely, and having a dude want to make out with me helps me feel a tiny bit less so.  I mean, if it gets to that point without me going brownout drunk and crying about how lonely I am.  No one is attracted to that.  Ugh.

Anyway.  I stopped smoking, I lost a little weight.  I’ve been trying to improve myself, but I’m still a fucking monster of ego.  But I haven’t drank in three days and went to my first AA meeting in years tonight.  There are so many things I want in my life, foremost to not be an asshole, and they are never going to happen if I keep doing things the way I have been.

Guys.  Guys, guys, guys.

I feel really good.  I’ve been really watching what I eat and have bought lunch like, three times this year so far.  I used to spend $15+ almost every day.  Now I have a little money, I just made a pretty large deposit into my savings account and actually have an emergency fund of 3 months of bills for the first time in my life.  I weight less than I have in YEARS and fit pretty much all of the clothes I own, which is like, unheard of.

I love my job, I’ve been really busy and more able to focus since I’ve been sober.

I played bingo last night with my sister and some friends in a dive bar.  Didn’t drink, and laughed harder and truer than I usually do.  It was a good time.

I am also waiting for everything to crash down around my ears.  I am waiting for a bad day to ruin everything.  I am waiting to be rejected by a dude that just asked me out and being anxious and depressed and drinking about it. I am waiting to see my family and getting edgy and stressed, which inevitably leads to out-drinking my Wisconsin hometown (quite a feat).  I am waiting for a boring Sunday afternoon where I get a case of the fuck-its and decide to bust into a bottle of red.  I am waiting to feel so alone that I could crawl out of my skin, where the only thing that makes sense is to belly up to a bar, blast my feelings out of my head and talk shit as a substitute for human connections.

I am waiting to really understand that my actions are the one thing I can control, that I am not stuck, and that if I keep faith in my ability to strive towards happiness, love, humor, and a connection with humankind eventually I will understand what I want my life to be.  Maybe I’ll even figure out how to get there.

Sober weekend?
Sober weekend.

Completely.  Whoa.  Friday was fine.  Saturday, I had all of these plans to get things done and ended up putzing around, doing a few things, and taking a two hour nap.  BUT when my sister got home from work we went and ate at a fantastic Mexican place I’ve been wanting to take her to (she had sangria, I had horchata and it was the shit.)  Then we went to a fancy donut shop, ate donuts, drank decaf, and played hangman.  It was super fun.

Yesterday was a bit different, it kind of started in the morning, when checking in on Facebook while lying in bed I realized that it was my (dead) best friend’s birthday.  Okay.  Showered, kind of laughed about the fact that about a half hour after I got up I received a text message notification and was like, ooh, who’s texting?  But it was Fbook telling me that it was my (dead) best friend’s birthday.  Yay!  Thanks Facebook!  I went to yoga and my regular teacher was out and this militant woman was subbing in.  Now, Sunday morning yoga is usually a stretchy chill time where you listen to your body, but this lady wanted us to move all the time.  There was no rest.  Not my type of yoga.  Very little warming up, lots and lots of repetition, and moves introduced with monotone demands.  Oof.  At first I was like, this is a test of my patience, I will go through it but eventually peaced out, did some floor stuff while everyone else was doing their 500th sun salute and left 20 minutes early.  It shouldn’t matter, but three other people did before me, and I ran into one of them outside and we just wrinkled our noses and shook our heads.  It was a bummer.

And I was supposed to see a movie that evening but my flaky platonic dude friend blew me off for a booze cruise to WI the night before. He said he was going to make it back in time, I told him not to hurry on my account, I could find plenty to do on a Sunday (which I can, but I didn’t feel like it.)  He decided to stay in WI.  About two hours later, I lashed out via text, told him it was shitty and when was he going to tell me that he wasn’t going to come if I hadn’t texted him about it  (he was supposed to go to yoga too), and it was my (dead) best friend’s birthday and I felt shitty about going to the movies alone, etc.  He poked back that I had said it was okay, and he didn’t know it was Sarah’s birthday, but that was not a reason for me to lash out.  He was right.  But I wanted to have righteous anger.

Earlier in the afternoon, I cried.  Twice.  Just little cries, but they just popped up.  It was weird to…feel things?  And just let them come.  But I kind of liked it.  It’s only been a week but I’m starting to feel more interesting and interested.  And…grounded I guess?  I went to the movie alone, it was called Moonlight.  It was really good, and broke my heart a little.  There were more tears.  I might have to write about it later.

Today is Monday, I’m feeling better.  I have a short week because I was supposed to do this 10k ice thing this weekend but my leg is still a bit weird from my drunk fall so I may have to bow out.  I’ll work hard and stay sober.  I feel pretty good.

Eh, day 6. I’m okay but underneath a little bit apprehensive about the weekend. It’s such an ingrained habit to go out (or stay home) and drink/smoke pot that it makes the next two days without that seem to stretch on forever.

A dude I thought was cute and would text while drunk texted me last night at midnight. Eh. Not like, booty call, just random probably bored at the bar stuff. I’m done reaching out to people just for the sake of boredom, I want something real, interesting, and challenging – not blurry and apprehensive. And that scares the shit out of me because I’ve never had that before and on the road I am (was?) on I probably never will. Bah.

I WILL NOT DRINK TODAY GOD DAMMIT.

But I’ll probably smoke a lot of cigarettes, not going to lie.

“You can act yourself into right thinking, you can’t think yourself into right acting.”

I’m realizing that I have been thinking myself into a mental portrait of who I want to be and who I want others to think I am and without that, I don’t really know WHO I am.  I’m starting to realize that a part of my projected personality has always been a bit of a mess … klutzy, self-deprecating, silly girl that gets drunk and has fun and laughs loudly and hard.  Who am I without the drinking?

I mean, I know I can still have fun and laugh loudly and hard.  I think?  Probably.

So, day 5.  Still on track.

It’s Been A While…

Like, a pretty long time.  I feel okay about coming back, and it’s not even because any kind of rock bottom or something specific that happened.  More like, I am so tired of having my entire social life revolve around killing brain cells.  I need to find something else.  If that means hermiting it up and sending words into the void to be picked up by strangers on the internet, then so be it.

Well, maybe a few things happened.  I had a rather bad fall into a friend’s basement door (it’s basically a dark hole in the floor of her dark porch).  My legs went out from under me and I jacked up my thigh, I think there may be some muscle damage; there’s a sizable dent in my leg along with burning and swelling after more than a week.  Would this have happened had I not been drinking?  Probably, I’m a total klutz but I still don’t feel great about dropping a couple hundred bucks on such a stupid thing.

I need to figure out something to do with myself.  Work is great, I’ve been losing some weight, but I just can’t shake this twitchy feeling that there has to be more.  I don’t know what it is, but maybe I can find it if I’m sober?  Who knows.

Anyway, hi!  I wonder if anyone familiar is still around…