Archive | October, 2012

Too much thinkin’ about drinkin’, says Drunky Drunk Girl!

31 Oct

5:29 pm

And, I suppose that’s better than thinkin’ AND drinkin’.

I don’t know about all this constant thinking — ruminating, actually — on drinking. Since I’ve quit, begun this blog, and started going to AA meetings, all I do is think about drinking! Sure, I don’t drink, but I still think about it. In fact, what’s the point of quitting if you have to continually THINK about it?

I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed by my thoughts the past few days, so I feel all a’jumble today. BUT, I wanted to say howdy and try to share a few of those thoughts, at least (warning: long post ahead).

On a positive note, I picked a sponsor today. Well, “picked” might be stretching it. It was sort of a random choice, and now I’m regretting it. I might hit up another woman, whom I feel more of a connection with and who goes to more meetings with me than the other (stranger) woman. I think I just got caught up in the moment this morning; or, I was impatient and wanted to stop sitting on the fence and JUST DO IT. In any case, she gave me some “official” reading material, and if there’s one thing I’m good at — besides overthinking — it’s reading material.

Anyway, based of some of the topics and shares at the past few AA meetings I’ve been to, I’ve been thinking about the following:

1. Bondage to self, or self-centeredness. It was a topic at one of the meetings, like many of these next points. My question remains: Where does self-centeredness end and self-effacement begin? Which is more or less healthy, and for me, a trigger? I am surely selfish and self-centered like the rest, but sometimes (maybe 50% at least), I drank to make myself numb to my doormat qualities, my inability to stand up for what I truly want, and my insecurity (I don’t feel like I deserve that what I truly want). I think some people drink more as the result of one versus the other, and in meetings, it seems that everyone who shares drank because they were selfish bastards. I don’t think my primary motivating factor was to be a selfish bastard, to party, to get high; I think it was to self-medicate.

2. Drinking to get drunk versus drinking to self-medicate. In meetings, it seems that a LOT of folks, especially the older men, drank to drink. To get drunk, to avoid their lives and problems and emotional blocks, whatever. I drank a lot of the time to feel better in my head. Sure, I drank to zone out, but I also drank to feel less static in my brain, to improve my mood, to make me feel like life was spectacular and not existentially ridiculous, to have something to look forward to because at that moment — in those moments — I don’t feel like doing or thinking or being anything. And then I feel bad (see point 1 above) about wasting time, and I feel even worse. But, it’s a particular need to not lubricate, but mend something inside. An existential rip in the seam of life, as it were. Now, I see that maybe I need not only a huge sense of purpose, but antidepressants. Endorphins of the highest order. Cookies and cake and loads of caffeine are not cutting it, I’m sorry.

3. Doing too little versus having an overwhelming sense of purpose and doing too much/what I “should;” unable to relax. Me, the latter, as you can guess. I am task-oriented, so it helps me to not drink if I have an 18-hour day planned. That’s why [cold east coast city] was so good for me. YET…isn’t that worse? Is being a workaholic better or worse for you than being an alcoholic? I’ve reconciled my need to “scratch that itch” with my desire to drink; I am what I am, and if my definition of “fun” and “productive” are unusually severe, then so be it. There is that work-life balance thing, though, which I never quite got, and am not sure I ever will. It’s very difficult for me to relax, to “not be productive.” I’m sure it is for many people, but they don’t consider it a problem. Is it, if it makes you feel uber-good about life?

4. Thinking yourself out of drinking versus giving your will “over” to a “higher power.” CONTRARY to what I assumed after going to all these meetings, everyone (based on today’s meeting) is like me in that they, too, have to think through it in order to convince themselves not to drink when they want to. I found this confusing, relative to what AA says, which is to give it up to “God.” If all y’all are rationalizing your urges away, then where does direct intervention and taking away of obsession by a higher power come in?

(I found it astonishing that quite a few people in AA said their cravings/urges/obsession disappeared almost immediately. You must not be drinkin’ red wine, is all I can think to say.)

5. AA meetings make me want to drink. And, someone said today: The only time I actually think about drinking anymore is when I’m here, at a meeting! Tell it, brotha.

6. “God” is what happens, what occurs, between and among other beings, whether human or animals. It’s not an outside force, per se, but something that comes from within and that is born through relating to and realtionships with other living creatures, including plants. WE are god, individually and collectively. Maybe I’ve just done a step here? 😉

Sometimes I think this whole thing is just overblown. Sure, I did some bad shit, but it’s grapes, people. Just grapes. Then again, I know that a sense of purpose is what saves me, that getting outside my head helps me, that staying in the moment through journaling and working and doing things like running and playing guitar improves my sense of belonging in the world. I know that swimming among massive swells at a local beach makes me feel strangely connected to a deep, abiding “aliveness,” that being a body of water which is large and ancient and powerful beyond what I can imagine — and that makes me feel, ironically, calm and safe and protected from myself, from my small ego.

Sometimes I want to conclude that I am a binge drinker who is depressed/obsessed by existential crises (choices, work versus play, meaning of life, death). Does that mean I need to work the steps and continue to ruminate, lifelong, on a problem? Can’t I simply solve it (don’t drink)? Then again, if I’m truly honest — and feeling good about life, which generally speaking, I have been since June 13th — I can see how those steps can only help me move forward. They can only help, if I’m humble and embrace them without my ego and mindedness getting in the way. And, then again again, DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHAT YOU “ARE” IF BEING SOBER, EVEN IF IT TAKES WORK, MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER AND MAKES YOUR LIFE BETTER? I would have to say, an obvious no.

And, dun dun dun: 21 days as of tomorrow! And, while I’ve thought about drinking a glass of wine, I really haven’t wanted to. Like, I haven’t felt like it. I feel calmer in the face of everything — work, moving, relationship, existential nonsense — that made me feel like drinking before. I feel calmer and more apt to say, Nah, instead of, OMG, YES. I don’t want to gloat, though, so I’ll sign off for now.

Here’s to all my sober buddies in the blogosphere — thanks to you all for being my support group and sounding board.

What to do on a sober Halloween? Try Al-Anon and a TON of sugar!

27 Oct

5:34 pm

NOT. Today, I totally crashed after my very first Al-Anon meeting. I really have got to do something about the amount of Diet Coke I’m drinking these days. I probably down at least a liter (4 cups, for those of you on THIS side of the pond) a day, if not more. Boo. I mean, it’s a different kind of craving, but I can describe it in one word: irritating. It’s distracting and absolutely irritating to feel the almost uncontrollable, and purely physical, sensation of *needing* sugar (or fake sugar, or whatever). Surmounting that soon. I don’t have enough energy to both consume sugar and then root around for extra-large-sized candy bars, too.

Anyhoo, I had a lovely morning at least. Woke up to another amazing day on the ocean — sapphire blue waters, a sheet of blue sky punctuated by big clumps of white clouds, a gusting wind cooling down the approaching mid-morning heat. Around 10, I went to a large Al-Anon meeting sponsored by Promises in Paradise, that sober conference which, btw, is also putting on an ICE CREAM SOCIAL tonight. I am literally starting to tremble just thinking about how much of my body weight I could eat in ice cream…

So, Al-Anon. It was kind of like an AA meeting in that most of the roster of speakers were also alcoholics and/or addicts. I got the gist of it, which is that these Al-Anon meetings help family members (and friends?) figure out what to do, how to cope, and importantly, how to just let go in the face of someone they’re related to or care about drinking and drugging.

(I can relate, I think. When it comes to my brother and his girlfriend, I’ve “given up” on fixing their co-dependent relationship. And, I can say, I really don’t care that much. It’s not my problem, for real.)

It made me see the toll that my drinking and blackouts and belligerence must have had and is still having on my family and friends. Like, it never occurred to me that anyone COULD be that affected. Why? Because they just didn’t care enough. At least that’s what I thought. It’s MY problem, so why should I have to worry about myself AND other people?, was what I’d always tell myself. Well, this meeting helped me to see — for some reason for the very first time in a way that sunk in — that other people need help recovering, if not actually coping, from the fallout of a drunk’s behavior while drunk. (Actually, I have been thinking about it ever since my boyfriend mentioned possibly wanting to go to one — What’s wrong with YOU? Why would YOU need help? Oh, right, because I’ve harassed you in a raging blackout about a million times.)

Sooooo, who’s dressing up for Halloween?

Oh, God. Last Halloween? Let me erase any ideas of drinking being entertained, my friends. Last Halloween, I decided to fly down to LA to visit an old college friend. Needless to say, I drank the night before flying down. AND, didn’t stop until I passed out (for probably a few hours, maybe not at all, I can’t remember). AND, woke up and continued drinking en route to the airport, AT the airport (beer in the morning, so tasty, right?), during the flight, and then AFTER landing at LAX. This was all before 2 pm. I was sitting next to some guy who was, for some reason (did he not see how drunky drunk I was?) flirting with me and encouraging me to drink more, and then I, flirting back in a drunken stupor, thought it a brilliant idea to ask him to have “one last drink” with me at a bar in LAX near our gate.

Fast forward two hours later, and I come to from my blackout. Apparently, I was wandering around LAX, lost, and my friend was trying to find me, texting me and calling me, to no avail. Somehow we linked up, and I barely remember exiting the airport, sitting in my wet (yes, I pissed my pants) jeans in the passenger seat of his car, and getting back to his place in West Hollywood so that he could leave me to “sleep it off,” which I did. What’s worse than all this happening between the hours of 2 and 5 pm in the afternoon? Pissing my pants in public. A new low. More shameful than shitting my pants (yes, that happened once), seeing how everyone could see my wet jeans, and if they couldn’t, I’m sure they could smell them. TMI, but hey, it’s kind of at least a little bit funny, right?

Oh, yes. Rock on, sobriety and bladder control.

We had a fairly decent weekend, dressed up and went out, all that. I was drinking by the next evening, much to my friend’s chagrin. It took almost a full year for this friend to forget — I knew he forgave me almost immediately, but his irritation, disappointment, and frustration would not allow him to forget. Thank God(dess) for these friends, who are few and far between; I have others who have not been so gracious and empathetic.

Anyway, think before you drink (or, dry drink, I guess!). Happy SOBER Halloween! 🙂

Am I really an alcoholic?

27 Oct

2:21 am

Y’know, a “real” alcoholic?

(I’m writing about this because I’ve been spending WAY much time thinking about drinking, and am wondering, Is it worth all this sobering thought?)

At tonight’s speaker meeting — the big-deal talk at the Promises in Paradise conference today — I suddenly wondered, Wait…maybe I’m not really a drunk? I mean, maybe, for real, I’m not an alcoholic? Maybe my problem is/was binge drinking, and is 100 percent situational? For instance, when I spent two months volunteering in [beautiful island] in 2010, I had practically zero desire to drink. I could have two beers at the end of the day and be done with it (not all the time, and I did crave wine toward the end). I was extremely content with my life and lifestyle there, and felt that I had a significant sense of purpose. Could it be as simple as, I drink when I feel like I’m doing jack with my life and I don’t drink when I fill my need to have a sense of purpose, be creative, and grow/move forward? Quite possibly, yes.

As I listened to Janine from Astoria talk for an hour about what a mess she had made of her life before “finding God” and getting sober (yeah, unfortunately, there was a lot of God talk tonight, including saying the “Our Father,” which I simply refused to do — didn’t sign up for Mass, folks), I had to say to myself, DDG, maybe you need to scoot home, learn to drink responsibly, and stop trying to play with the big boys.

I often wonder, do we catastrophize our problem drinking because we’re a neurotic society as a whole? I was talking to a could-be sponsor tonight, and told her that I didn’t drink until I was a junior in college (I studied abroad that year in Paris; wine definitely helped me speak better/at all in French). She was shocked. I then got the feeling I’ve been getting and have had before elsewhere, but typically not in [cold west coast city] or [cold east coast city]: Oh, you’re one of them. Meaning, I’m smart, I’m stable, I haven’t had many non-first world problems in my life. Sure, whatever, a drunk. Come and see how the other half lives, girlie, and then we’ll talk alcoholism.

And, maybe they’re right. Where does “proper” binge drinking end (even if it only takes a few glasses of wine for you to blackout) and alcoholism begin? And, if we’ve become a society that pathologizes even the most basic of human experience and emotion (since when are mood swings considered bipolar disease, and depression and anxiety things to eradicate as early as possible as young as possible?), who gets to finally claim that label? I mean, who among us wouldn’t want more than one chip?

Anyone up for a sober conference? Promises in Paradise is where it’s at!

25 Oct

2:29 am

There’s a conference on [beautiful island where I now live] this weekend called “Promises in Paradise,” which is basically a weekend-long AA meeting. Not sure if I can swallow it just yet; I mean, I still sort of cry inside every time I think, island + wine + DDG = null set.

Ah, well. Maybe, like my boyfriend says, I should fill up my wine glass with chilled rooibos tea — my current obsession — instead of wine?

Today was OK; nothing Earth-shattering. Which, in a way, bums me out. (I think I just have to get used to having settled in, and not, like, continuously moving around and looking forward to being somewhere else — or do I? I’m already looking forward to trips to PR, D, and H!) I had an interview with a possible fourth client, and that went well. I must say, this freelance thing takes a lot of patience, as there isn’t as much measurable output as one might need to feel productive. AND, it just takes a lot of time linking up with people and arranging work. I feel somewhat blah about this next project, but I’m sure I’ll rally.

No meeting for me today — figured I’d be able to OD on meetings this weekend if I end up hitting that conference. (And, why not? It’s right around the corner and how cool will I be when I get to tell people that I actually LIVE in said paradise?). I ended up spending the evening cleaning and unpacking! It feels GREAT to have my closet a little bit more organized, to have the bags off the floor and the sheets and towels and underwear in their right place. Yet…

Always a yet. Why can’t I just be happy with what is? Settling in makes me feel unsettled, that’s just a given. I am a restless mofo, and I know this about myself. It’s one of the reasons I drank. Speaking of which, at last night’s meeting, one woman shared that her biggest obstacle to acceptance was that she didn’t like the 21st century! LOL I could relate; I mean, we all have our “head” issues, our perceptions of reality that make us feel crazy/weird being human. Mine is information overload and an inability to “see through” the physical reality around me. More often than not, I would drink out of anxiety and frustration surrounding these glitches.

Anyway, yup, always in my head! Oh, well, that’s what this blog is for. Anyway…I miss my stuff in [cold east coast city]. I miss…my life. In [cold east coast city]? I’m not sure. I feel…like I’m floating. Maybe it’s time for a “real” job; it’s cool to have reached my goal of earning a living as a freelance writer, but I know — have known for a while — that it’s not something that I find all that rewarding anymore, writing/editing, and there are other things I know I’d like to spend my time doing.

All in due time. One day at a time. I have trouble with this, so I’m just going to calmly shut my laptop and Turn It Off.

Oh, and: 14 days, kids! And, really, very little desire to drink; very large desire to keep working, moving forward, and keeping the “wine gut” to a bare minimum (I think I can safely transition to using the more aptly named “blueberry muffin gut” now).

Let go and let…God(dess)?

23 Oct

10:59 pm

Well, folks, I think I’ve actually found some solace in AA. Say WHAT?

First off, island life is grand. I’m getting a feel for how my days will pan out (structure is my friend), I’ve just bought a car (squee!), and I’m really looking forward to building on new ideas, new endeavors (this weekend, we’re going on a tour of the island’s new observatory, seeing a musical — no shit — and fingers crossed, starting to plant a garden on the hill behind the house), and my writing. That’s one of reasons I’m here, right? Mornings are lush, afternoons are languid, and evenings are musical. Why would I want to drink? (Craving red wine as I write this… Le sigh. Never going to change, eh? Gotta believe that one day I won’t want to drink to make the good better, the better awesome, and the grand, super-duper amazing. Shut UP, Drunky Drunk Girl! Back down, wolf!)

Anyway, I’ve been to a handful of meetings now — maybe four? — and, well, they ARE helping. Helping in that one, I usually don’t want to go but two, after I go, I’m really glad I did! Three, it helps to have people on your side. Even though I haven’t called anyone yet, I know that if I wanted to, I have like, 20 new friends whom I could. I know people outside of AA now, thanks to random connections that have turned up as admitted drunks; it’s hard to swing a wet towel on this island and not hit one, though. Still, their support (and my openness about being “in recovery”) combined with the support offered by random strangers at AA; well, it’s comforting to know that they’re watching out for me and caring if I drink or not. Like, really caring. Compared to how I think my brother and dad feel (couldn’t give a rat’s ass), this feels like…a relief.

At every meeting, there’s been one or two things that people have said that really hit home — and that helps. A lot. In a subtle way, I feel refreshed, more committed to not drinking, and well, distracted after meetings. Whatever works, right?

For me, they’re helping in another way, and that’s getting me out there on my own and meeting new people. Getting a feel for the island by getting to know some people outside my boyfriend’s inner circle of friends. I know joining things will help, too, but this first step into widening my social network is nice in that, people can’t really reject you at AA. 😉

(It helps that I have committed to at least 90 days, too; I’m resisting everything a lot less. Though, the more I hit meetings, the more I wonder, maybe it’s the meetings that are strengthening my resolve?)

So, remember how I was talking about this “God” thing last post? Well, I know it’s Step 3 and I’m not even sure I’m sold yet on the program of AA let alone the steps, but it’s been on my mind: how can you say that a higher power helped you to stop, resist, and/or not crave booze? Isn’t that stuff that only your mind, your will, your very body can do? I went to a meeting on Saturday night, and someone said something about having drunk through 15 years of AA meetings before he finally “let go and let God.” He said the same thing I was thinking: OK, all right, let me try this nonsense for ONE day, that’s it, and see what happens. He did it and it changed his life, he said. Could it be that I simply need to just fucking give this shit a chance? (Sorry, I feel like cursing tonight! Higher Power said it’s OK.)

I actually already believe in a higher power, a “glue” of sorts that holds the universe together, and this glue does shit that even the most enlightened mind cannot imagine. I studied biology, and well, some of the stuff I learned about the microscopic workings of the body and nature are pretty surreal; why not a higher glue? So, it’s not hard for me to say, OK, let synchronicity handle it — I’ve experienced things like meeting the right people at the right time, and once you begin to open up to these “invisible workings,” they start to happen more. HOWEVER, I never prayed for a direct intervention; au contraire. I don’t believe in any kind of direct intervention, that’s just religious nonsense to me. Yesterday, though, I was like, OK, let’s just suspend our disbelief for one day, ONE day, and like that guy, see what happens.

That was yesterday morning. We took the dog to the vet and as I was standing outside with him, waiting for my boyfriend to pay the doc — this was about 11 am — I said to God/my higher power, “Higher Power, or whatever, wherever, whoever you are, please help me today. Help me get through the day, but mostly, tell me what to do. I really, actually, am making it up as I go along, so please, guide me and I’ll follow. For real. I have no clue what I’m doing here.”

And from that point, the day unfolded almost ridiculously perfectly, with surprises and accomplishments and well, things just Falling Into Place. I found a car. Yes, a car! I was dreading the ordeal of finding and sorting through all the shit used cars for sale down here, all the while not really wanting to spend more than $3,000. Yet, yesterday morning, my boyfriend found an ad from one of his friends on Facebook selling a used car, we went to take a look, test drove it, and whaddya know, it’s a GREAT little car! And, we’re getting it for under $2,000! I would never have, I guess, embraced an event like this if certain things hadn’t been aligned and if I hadn’t been open to committing to the uncertainty but doing it anyway (how long will I be down here, I could probably spend that money on something else, blah blah blah). Higher Power was like, Shut it, DDG. You’re doing this.

Other stuff just kept happening, too. After the vet, and before the car, we went to look at someone’s moving sale stuff and found a few pieces of essential cookware, stuff I had been sort of worrying about finding down here. (Fretting about where and when you’ll find a medium-sized frying pan and a small saucepan at 1 am when you can’t sleep, from an entire coast away? That would be me.) We stopped at the post office and lo and behold, my boxes that I shipped to myself from [cold west coast city] had arrived! After we dropped them off at the house, we headed out to the beach. En route, we just happened to run into one of our very cool neighbors, so we all decided to hit the beach together. Then, Obama kicked Mittens’ ass in the debate… Dude, it HAD TO BE MY HIGHER POWER, I just knew it. 😉

I do think that things fall into place, and believe me, I’ve been planning and arranging and controlling and molding for a few months now. Which, I think, is why the day seemed to have this charged energy — I just let go. So what if the car’s not perfect? So what if I end up spending only a few months here and have to sell off all this new stuff? This and that, blah blah blah, wolf drunk head chatter. Who cares? I just embraced the uncertainty, I guess, of my new life; committed to it. That felt good. I haven’t committed to being somewhere since my last place in [cold east coast city], over two whole years ago. The whole time I was in [cold west coast city], I simply never committed to being there, so avoided things like buying cars. I also completely avoided getting involved in activities, getting to know people, stopping drinking, pretty much life. My life was drinking, if I’m honest. And that took away my ability to even tell certainty from uncertainty, let alone live with it and surmount it by engaging in an actual life.

Like I said, I do believe in a “force” we can’t see, but I believe it works between and among us, not from Higher Being to me. Direct intervention or relaxing into making chioces and following through? Either way, I think sobriety has played a huge role.

Since I’m counting weeks, I’m almost at two again! Woo hoo! (Day 12 today!) And, while Sunday was rough and I pouted for a minute or two, the thought of caving and not getting to the other side — that being the elusive Day 90 — never crossed my mind. NO WAY! I GOT THIS.

AA means…one step at a time

20 Oct

11:58 pm

One step at a time, is what I learned in AA today.

I’ve basically been somewhat needlessly blowing my own mind with all the thinking and self-reflection about not drinking, and I’ve decided:

For now, it’s OK to just stop drinking. And, like I’ve been doing, it’s OK to move on, stay busy, and keep working toward tangible life goals.

That’s it. That’s my deep thought.

I went to my third meeting tonight (yay, me!) downtown at a church here in St. Thomas, and it was nice. Good. Fine. I was shouted out twice for being a new person, which is because I actually introduced myself. I mean, it was good. I felt like I was at Mass, and I felt sincere. I already know a few people (it’s a small island), and it helped to hear their stories; it helped to be reminded of the fact that if I drink again, I could end up, oh, falling off the subway platform in a blackout comes to mind…

Overall, AA is…I don’t know. I mean, I really just don’t know. Yet, do I need to? I talked with a potential sponsor for a half hour after the meeting tonight, and if anything I realized just how rambling I can be — and need to be, I guess — with total strangers when it comes to all my “drinking shit.”

Anyway, they picked the third step to share around:

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Hmm. OK. I don’t know what this means, and I don’t know where will/free will and fate meet and diverge, if they do at all. I don’t know how anyone but myself is going to “care” for me and/or help me to stop putting the wine glass to my lips (so far, it’s been sheer will, and this is the only thing I can think of to do; I mean, no one else is making me drink, y’know?). However, I knew I had nothing to offer and felt that my insight is so limited when it comes to this 12-step business, I just listened.

Most of the people said they did experience a god or god-like presence, or something, taking over and starting to guide them through the day, or away from their cravings. Or whatever. I think. I honestly don’t understand what this means beyond realizing that:

1. you don’t know anything let alone everything, so stop listening to your runaway thoughts; and
2. stop overthinking and just DO, even if your thoughts are telling you something else; and
3. life is a trip, and it’s pretty fucking bizarre and amazing (though, as a biologist, I know all of this and it’s always taken my breath away), so why not run with that?

I need practical. This God-stuff is just…weird. Hard to conceptualize. For instance, I can’t explain why, exactly, I quit — and why it stuck — this summer except for that I had had fucking ENOUGH, my friends had had fucking ENOUGH, and I knew that my get-out-of-jail-free card had long since expired. On a gut level, it was something else, some certainty that I had to stop. And so I did. (Well, tried/trying.) Maybe I HAVE encountered the third step already, maybe it’s not rocket science, maybe I’m twisting my head around and should just simmer down?

My entire life I’ve been doing things that displease me, that vex me, all under the guise of “challenging” and “rewarding.” I’ve had little balance, and it’s a result of my upbringing, my nationality (welcome to USA, Inc.), and my own perfectionist and self-doubting/second-guessing personality traits. I can feel a tangent coming on, so I’ll get to the point: I don’t have to understand God — or how to best make amends, or whatever — in order to simply not drink. I can take it easy, one step at a time.

I can take it easy, one step at a time.

Lately, with all the changes and all the drama surrounding my brother and my dad, I’ve felt sobriety sort of crashing in on me. I’ve even found it hard to write about it. I’ve been trying to make amends with my brother’s girlfriend — who is crazy, by the way — and it’s only messed things up more. Messed me up more, in the sense that now I’ve been presented with a whole new set of feelings, obstacles, and choices when it comes to deciding if I want to push it or accept that my apology letter backfired. Do I write them off, as they seem to have done to me? Now I’m as angry with them as they are with me!?

I could go on and on, but tonight made me realize again that, it’s just me. And, that’s OK. And, if my brother’s girlfriend doesn’t like my style, and if my dad secretly hates me because I’m a successful female professional, and if this and that and that and this…Head E-X-P-L-O-D-I-N-G!


(Btw, tonight there’s a meteor shower and the sky is clear! The sky down here is immense: hot, dark, and alive. Silent, but full of far-off noise. The other night, I saw an astoundingly bright, large, circular meteorite (or was it an alien spacecraft?) rip through the northern sky = amazeballs. I can’t wait to just sit outside on the deck, hear the near-constant crashing of the Atlantic on the rocks below, and watch for falling stars. I had, of course, a long talk with myself earlier about wanting/not wanting wine, and now that is over. The cravings come and go, and it’s always a relief once they’ve passed and I can move on, watch the night sky, and listen to the thick croaking of crickets, coqui frogs, and night bugs; all the while realizing that sobriety is turning out to be the strangest, most surreal trip of them all.)

Counting in weeks now…One down, infinity to go!

19 Oct

10:20 am

I’m one week sober as of yesterday! I’m counting in weeks now.

I went to another meeting the day before yesterday (my second), and I’m glad I did. I don’t know, I just felt…recharged. Renewed. I guess that’s what AA is supposed to do, right? It was nice to meet new people, though, and I’m sure that contributed to the feeling of “doing something” that seemed to negate the feeling of “sure would love to down some wine.”

Sure, I still want to drink every second of every day — and that seemed to surprise someone at the meeting, which equally pissed me off and made me almost laugh out loud — AA doesn’t take that away. In fact, I want to drink MORE after having gone to a meeting, at least based on my little experience with meetings. It’s like that with therapy, too: the second I open the flood gates and either start talking about it to myself or another person, I really wouldn’t mind a cocktail (or, glass or two or three or four of red). The same woman was astounded by this revelation on my part. Meh.

Writing about it, on the other hand, takes away the obsession and/or desire.

So, yes. On Day 8. Or, Week 2. 😉

(I have a bunch of work to do today, and so, I think I’m going to keep on keeping myself ULTRA-busy. That’s what helped me the last time, and I think it’s what’s going to help me this time…through the restlessness, the irritation, the ruminating on my brother and his bitch-from-hell girlfriend/crazy person, my dad’s ridiculous idea of a “relationship” with his own flesh and blood daughter, etc. On a happy note, the island is wonderful! Third time and I feel like it’s home. And, it was SO NICE to meet new people, on my own, instead of through others. I know it takes time to meet peeps that you mesh with, especially after having moved to a new place; and it takes work. For some reason, I don’t want to drink, I’m starting to feel social again, and I want to meet new people, try new things, and in general, get it goin’ ON again! Could it be this sobriety thing? OH! I also actually sort of want to start reading the Big Book. I know, I know, ridiculous, right? It feels like a class, an assignment; I’m good at classes and assignments. But also…I’m curious. AND, I’m so ready to stop drinking, to not want to drink, to absolutely rid myself of the obsession (the voice inside my head and heart that says, A glass of wine would be so good right now, when in reality, it would so NOT be good, would make me feel like ass, and would pack on unwanted calories, all of which would lead to me feeling defeated and guilty). And, based on the near-zero desire to drink this week (probably the least since I quit on June 13th, actually)…maybe the Big Book and the talking DOES help? Hmm…)

And, the AA meeting was good!

17 Oct

9:13 am

Not much to say beyond that. Sure, I want to drink and no, I don’t believe having people to “call” when I want to down wine is going to help — it never has yet — but I’m willing to give it a shot.

When I shared, I mainly did it to let people know that I wasn’t sure how to proceed after getting sober. And, I’m sad — nay, heartbroken — over losing my go-to coping mechanism. I can’t drink anymore, so now what? Life is grand, so now what? I’ve moved and am working, so now what? For me, being sober and sobriety are two entirely separate realities: like, yeah, of course, two months down the line, three months, four months, whatever it’s been, the cravings have subsided; even the obsession seems to be lifting. That’s because I know that wine isn’t what I really want, or need, and most importantly, no longer does the trick. So, why waste time trying to fix “it” with a broken tool?

(I didn’t always feel this way — see my earlier posts — so I guess that’s progress. BUT, I have made this progress on my own…)

The cravings and the pity party aside, I still look at that first step and go, so, how does this relate to getting sober and Sobriety, with a capital S. Life? Powerless over booze, life unmanageable. Sure. So, maybe I have put down the drink. That doesn’t mean that I have any more answers to my questions to life, to the grind than I ever did or ever will. Does AA provide any more than a community of fellow seekers then?

I am just not sure how free therapy and a fellow community is going to erase my drinking problem. I drink to medicate, as we all do. HOW WILL BITCHING TO OTHERS MAKE THAT GO AWAY? So far, I’ve bitched a lot to others, and while it might make the cravings easier to deal with, it doesn’t take them away. AA is not a cure, then. Perhaps it’s more of a crutch, something to help you manage.

Meh. Getting sober is hard work. Sobriety, then, will be continuous hard work.

Raaaaaaambling. I owe you a bunch of posts, but today I have a full day’s work to do (good) and it’s HOT. I’m not used it yet.

There is an AA meeting at 5:30, so I guess I’ll “plan my day” around that. “Keep coming back.” Blah blah blah. I really don’t feel like going, at this very moment of writing. Oh, well, going to put on a fake face and pretend. I’m a journalist, this is old hat to me! 😉 (Plus, it’s a good way to meet people here, if anything else.)

Going to my first AA meeting tonight, and…

16 Oct

1:50 pm

it’s a miracle? The fact that I’ve only drunk about nine or 10 times since June 13th can’t be explained otherwise, can it? Maybe I’d just had enough.

Well, I’m working. Yay! A goal made real. I have two ongoing writing gigs and a possible third coming up on Thursday, all through “word of mouth” (or, friends of friends, coworkers of coworkers). Imagine what I could do if I actually put the work into pitching, reporting, and writing? All in due time. I beat myself up a lot, nothing is ever good enough. I want wine now, to deal with that feeling, but I know I don’t, can’t, and refuse anyway, so there. Fuck off, wolf!

My boyfriend is going to take me to my first (well, second) AA meeting (on the island) tonight, at a church downtown. It’s a woman’s meeting. Yes, I’m feeling a bit…uncomfortable, but I can do it. I mean, if I can get through:
moving out of [cold west coast city] and leaving a/my “life” behind (though, I still have my storage unit in [cold east coast city], so if all else fails, I could always move into that ;));
spending a week with first, my mom, then, my dad;
receiving and replying to nasty hate-mail from my brother’s gf (and the whole situation coming to a head…);
settling into a new life living with someone (gulp);


Anyway, will check back in later, friends!

(Once again, this morning, I realized how awesome it is to have this community. And, it never would have happened if I hadn’t made the initiative to get sober. Where it came from, I still don’t know. The closest approximation I can make is, I had had enough.)

Settling in…

14 Oct

1:26 am

The past two days have been…difficult. However, I’m strong, must move forward, and must hit the return key on the autopilot program if necessary. I am not drinking, period.

I drank on the plane and then with dinner on Thursday night, and while Thursday and Friday were productive and great (it’s really nice to see my boyfriend again!), today felt ROUGH. After spending most of the day shopping for new household items, food, and general stuff, we came home and had a quiet night here. I went for a short run and saw the most stunning “shooting star.” It looked like a ball of fire slowly streaking across the northern sky, slow enough that I thought it was an aircraft. Please don’t abduct me, I thought to myself. Even though I’m only on Day 2 (Day 3 today), I still want to win this game called sobriety.

I feel happy to be here in [beautiful island where I now live] — I feel at home, for the most part. Yet, I’ve also got this just-went-off-to-college feeling, which is strange, since I correlate this with leaving family, the nest. Isn’t this my family now, my nest? Apparently, it’s going to take time. I think giving up my place, my “single life,” my independence in a way, well, it’s left me feeling a bit uncertain. Apprehensive. Scared, even! I know it takes a while to settle in somewhere, and even longer to make friends. I just have to have patience and not let my brain get the better of me.

Tonight, I really wanted to shut it down with wine. The “it” is not the anxiety, per se; I feel like I just can’t think. Like, all the grey matter has been sucked out of my brain by a medium-sized vacuum cleaner. Even my writing is stilted. ARG. Maybe I simply need to stop putting so much pressure on myself and treat this next few months like I’ve been treating my time here, as a “temporary vacation” (during which I freelance)?

Anyway, I’m sad about not being able to medicate this feeling away, as it’s very uncomfortable. Little puffs of anxiety, a gloomy sense of lack of direction, a looming fear of what-now and what’s-next. Shit! However, I know intellectually that booze is the last thing I need. So, I resisted a very strong urge tonight, and while it still hasn’t subsided along with this feeling of having no neuronal activity, I’m committing again to 100 percent abstinence. I GOT THIS.

Looking forward to sharing more soon re: the stuff I mentioned the other night.

Day 3 today! (And unfortunately, I have the feeling that the canvas color will be long and tedious, with small pockets of mania, welcome splashes of pure joy, and speckled dots of certainty. Such is life.)


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