Archive | September, 2013

Making my way through the confusion…

5 Sep

11:42 am

…sans The Grape. Without wine. Who would have thought it possible?

Lately, I’ve been feeling confused, torn, drawn in multiple directions, with too many and then, too few options. I want to do everything at once, and then, a few minutes later, nothing at all. I have mood swings, but they usually surface after a day sitting on my ass (which is starting to really hurt due to a stubborn sciatica flare–time to hit the gym), in front of my monitor, realizing that I spend 90 percent of my freelancing time LOOKING for work and only 10 percent actually DOING anything. So it goes. I’ve acquired enough assignments (two) and have enough money owed me, plus my savings, to get me through the next few months without too much financial stress. BUT, it’s only possible because my cost of living is so cheap–I moved from a big city to a small island, which, as you all know, adds even more new (confusing) possibilities to the mix.

Like, I might consider working the season down here as a server at one of the restaurants; maybe I could earn some extra money to pay down my graduate student loans while also–and this is funny–confront my HUGE FEAR of dealing with people on that level again? I KNOW, it’s not like I’d be flying an airplane, or reporting a story from Syria, but yet…it scares me to work as a server. I’m also sending out unsolicited letters to law firms, web design firms, and other “offshore”-type companies to see if someone, at some point, might need my services. I’m also, of course, sending out applications to science reporting jobs here and there in the States, mainly because why the hell not? It’s a familiar puzzle piece, and I am sort of having a seizure feeling like there is nothing familiar about my life anymore.

Like I mentioned in a comment to someone the other day, I just feel like nothing is familiar. NOTHING. Like, maybe I changed too much while getting sober! Duh. Of course, I did. But, I needed the changes. I needed to move, I needed to give my current relationship a chance, I needed to stop working full-time, I needed to focus on freelancing, I needed to apply for and then reject a graduate school program/move back to the Big Apple. I just needed to do all of these things, and now, well, after having been in a rut the past 4-6 weeks, overthinking everything–I feel confused.

I’m beginning to think this is life, this confusion. This confrontation of hard choices, all the time. It’s not that I want to drink to avoid the panic and/or confusion-induced lethargia–the opposite. I want to stay on point and keep moving forward, making choices with the best of my knowledge. So, in that regard, I do not want to drink. What makes me want to drink these days, mainly, is a desire for familiarity. I KNOW drinking, and I KNOW how it works (doesn’t) for me. I know where it fits in my life, and I know who I am (a crazy bitch) as a drinker. I don’t know how better to explain it, but sometimes I just blame sobriety, as if it were a shitty friend, having taking me away from my life, from me. Sobriety stole me from myself, and I don’t know who I am anymore. Correction: I know more who I am, but I don’t know how to work with that as easily as I know how to be Drunk Me. I know what Drunk Me would do, and how Drunk Me would react, and prioritize goals and activities. I’m not so sure how Sober Me does things, and I feel like I’m sort of flailing to organize my life, and my feelings, and my reactions.

All that being said, I know the best course of action is to simply keep doing what feels like plodding forward: make that to-do list, do what needs to be done, get as much done as possible (which always seems to be 2/10 things on the stupid list), and keep feeling my way forward. It brings to mind how I used to find my car, back in the day when I was just getting started being a blackout drunk, was living in a foggy (ahem) West Coast city, and had to street park my car every night, usually no less than a 15-minute walk from my apartment. Some mornings after a night of drinking (of course, I drove to and from the bar), I had a vague recollection of where I parked, and sometimes, I could conjure a flashback or two to give me enough of a trail to follow. But some days, I had NO conscious ability to remember–no flashes, no imprints whatsoever on my brain of where or how or when or with whom I had parked my car. So, I would relax my body, my mind, and just…walk. It was like I was willing my subconscious to remember by moving my legs, hoping that my motor memory would somehow guide me to my car. It usually worked; I always found my green Honda Civic.

That’s what I’m doing here, albeit with a little less guesswork. And, I’m going to give myself credit for a LOT more self-love in the process. Tick tock, tick tock, nine days on the clock (until my 180-day mark)!

Inspiration to others

2 Sep

8:25 am

Well, it’s now the second day of September–can’t seem to hold onto the days! Happy Labor Day, all.

I’m up early, mainly because it’s so stinking hot here in the mornings, but also, I seem to have recovered some of my lagging (depressed) energy! Thank Jesus to that. I was starting to wonder, am I going to simply be down forever? I’ve been down before, but not really severely, I guess, and not for over a month; my depressive episodes are more low-grade and last a long time. This felt severe, but it seems to have literally lifted.

I’m tired this morning, but you know what? The simple fact remains: I am sober. Wow. Here I am, like it or not, sober. What a great feeling. Being sober is a given, a known. And, I like this given, this known, this certainty, this…solid ground…more than, well, getting to drink. I can’t have both, and I’m becoming OK with that.

I meditated yesterday, and it helped. It was good in that I got to “somewhere else,” which I’m relieved about because sometimes, it takes a lot longer than simply one time. I mean, that someplace else lasted for about less than 10 minutes, but it was enough to make me really want to do it again. I’m actually thinking of taking a “soul vacation,” as coined by one of my friends down here: one month at a meditation retreat, one month volunteering somewhere (like, another country). I can’t wait to move on from “this phase,” which is basically me having no enthusiasm.

I got an email the other day from a friend of mine who says she’s tired of embarrassing (and dangerous, I’d say, if she asked me) things happening when she drinks too much. And, I think she is starting to, you know, exhibit “me”-like drinking behavior, which includes things like drinking for 2.5 days straight and doing alternately wildly inappropriate and bizarre things while out on a date (well, multiple dates with multiple men).

Anyway, she’s going for a Sober September. To “get her shit together.” This is the same girl who, well, I wouldn’t say wasn’t supportive of my getting sober, but I think it put her in a really weird place, questioning her own habits. I also felt like she secretly wanted me to fail, and actively dissed me a little bit at first for the reason(s) behind this. In any case, that’s all in the past, I haven’t looked back, and it’s interesting to see that maybe, just maybe, she’s SEEN the benefits in my life of me getting sober and is using it as inspiration to make some changes in her own that might have a broader effect. I hope it works, and I’m rooting for her!

Well, I think it might be time for a nap. It’s a little past 9, and I’ve already made coffee, showered, threw a load of laundry in, did half my bills, wrote this, and opened a few browser windows to look up Vipassana retreats! Cool beans, eh? Thank you, sober me. You did it. You’re doing it, I should say.

(And, man, did I really, really, really want to drink on Saturday night, but the few tears I did cry made me laugh at how silly I was being. The music didn’t hold sway over my feelings, I got dressed, I did my errands, and I came home, feeling for once (in a long time) peaceful and creative-I-don’t-care-what-happens kind of creative. I read, I listened to a The Decemberists Pandora station (do they play any Decemberists anymore on a Decemberists station?), and went to bed feeling like I was 19 instead of 39, like the world was ahead of me, like I was ageless and free. It’s these moments, when you tackle the craving and actually GET SOMETHING of wonder, and peace, in the end; it’s these moments that make it worth the effort, that offer a glimpse of–gasp!–the liberation ahead.)

Wake up!

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