Sitting and zoning out, or, this too shall pass

5 Oct

4:49 pm

Just sitting.

And zoning.

And eating cheese quesadillas and vanilla chocolate chip ice cream.

And not doing a whole lot of anything.

I’m baffled as to why my motivation can go from 10 to 1 in a matter of 24 hours, and does this every other 24 hours? I cycle in and out, in and out. Two steps forward, one step back. It is almost 5 pm and I’ve done a total of jack shit. (Part of my frustration is the fact that I remain in search of work, and others are searching, too, and we’re all facing the same, bigger-than-ourselves social problems that just Can’t Be Fixed by four (white) folks who aren’t from here. Sigh. I let it get to me; they seemingly don’t. And, it’s probably frustrating me a LOT more than I’m consciously aware of–which, essentially, is contributing to my feeling helpless, which always makes me want to escape with wine. I am impatient, I guess, and don’t like sitting with frustration=How’s about a glass of wine to “solve” that problem, hmmmmmmm?)

I wonder, is it that I simply don’t have a deep well to draw from anymore, when it comes to motivation, perseverance, and joie de vivre? I mean, staying sober takes a lot of that out of you, and keeps on wringing and wringing. In fact, I’ve read about studies showing that your willpower to resist temptation (drink, food) decreases the more tired out you are from other, mentally-exhausting tasks (think, you’re more apt to chow down on that Snickers if you’ve spent the day doing something mentally exhausting versus if you spent it chilling by the pool). Maybe this is part of getting older? Or, is it that I actually NEED more time off? Maybe I am (and have been, for a while) utterly burnt out, after all these years of overachieving, such that I can find neither interest nor rationale for anything whose main reward is “accomplishment” or “success?” The words ring hollow now, and I can only imagine the actual concepts banging around inside my soul like two empty milk cartons. They hold no weight.

I know I need to stop going against the grain, rest if I need to rest, sleep if I need to sleep, etc. BUT…when do I need to give myself a kick in the rear?

And, I’ve talked about this before, but sometimes I have so little energy/motivation (compared to how I used to feel, before I got sober) that I can’t even be bothered to drink! Sometimes (often?) drinking served as a way to not simply make myself feel better, or happier, or less depressed; but as a way to make myself see that I was trying to make it better. If I was drinking, at least I hadn’t totally given up, right? I was at least TRYING to make things better. I was trying to motivate myself to feel good, and that made me feel like I hadn’t completely given in to the lethargy and depression. Today, even if I wanted to drink, I really can not be bothered to pick up a bottle or even pour the glass. I know it won’t work, and I know, deep down (on day 201 today) that I can’t go back. I can’t go home again when it comes to wine.

I’ve figured out a few things lately, though, that help. One is physical activity. I’m not talking about a run, or a swim, or a walk, but all three, over a 4- or 8-hour period! I’ve often thought that if I could ONLY JUST STAY IN CONSTANT MOTION, then the urge to drink wouldn’t be so strong. This helped early on, and it’s helping me now when it comes to freelance writing: a solid bout of activity, 4 hours let’s say, helps to calm my mind, clears out all the raging thoughts, and allows me to actually sit down and work in a concentrated fashion.

Sooner or later, though, we all have to just sit with it (literally, in my case.) Sit with it when it sucks. I can do that, right? Yes, I can do that. I can have it suck and just sit with it. I have learned how to do that, and that it is much less painful than going out and drinking to avoid the sitting. What makes it easier, by far, is having someone else–a community, as it were–to sit with me! That’s where you guys come in.

For instance, I’ve realized that even IF I don’t get shit done, and I feel bad about it–like my world is crumbling, like it’s the worst thing ever–when I come here, I am reminded that it SO isn’t that bad. There was something so horrible about being hungover alone; it was better to share the burden once in a while with someone else, not that I did that a lot after my college days. Same is true of this sphere: when I come here with my problems and you sit, we sit, through them; I see that they might not be as bad as I thought. None of you are worrying, or freaking out, or telling me that my thoughts justify drinking, so…maybe they actually don’t? It’s an amazing sounding board.

So, now I feel sick. And, my sports bra is too tight. And my sciatica is acting up. And, obviously, my “illness,” which I would consider the extreme mess of thoughts that race through my head on a constant basis, is in full swing. But, I’m sitting here. With you. And we’re not reacting because there is nothing worth reacting to. Nothing to do but wait. And breathe. And know that this too shall pass. And I am still whole. And something got done, actually–I am stronger. For this, I thank you guys.

14 Responses to “Sitting and zoning out, or, this too shall pass”

  1. Running From the Booze October 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Sitting over here with hot dry winds with mind brain spinning out of control one minute and then calming down again. Congrats on day 201.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl October 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Hi, RFtB!
      Sorry it’s taken me a while to reply. I hope you’re feeling better. Believe me, the ups and downs, the spinning and swirling thoughts will come…but they will also go. It really sucks for a while, but…there will come a time when it just WON’T SUCK! YOU will come back. You will feel like yourself again, and all the thoughts, well, they’ll subside. Just hold on. I’ve found that writing helps, whining helps, walking, running, anything active–staying in physical motion has saved my ass many a day/night when I wanted to drink so badly. HUGS!

  2. carrie October 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Congrats on 200+ days!!!,
    We get something from every post and are grateful for you and your ups, downs and honesty.
    I hope you find the spark you need again, I think when the time is right to give yourself a holy kick up the arse, you’ll know.
    Go easy C x

    • Drunky Drunk Girl October 11, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

      Haha. Totally. I think that time is now. Something’s changed this week–I’ve somehow been graced with energy and focus, and, gasp!, a desire to actually work again! And, in the world of writing, that means compete. BUT, I’m putting my sober tools to use and not taking them or myself so seriously anymore. Thank you thank you thank you for your comment. Hope all is going well… xx

  3. Just Some Woman October 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    It’s just life. We were just more numb to it while drinking.

  4. Mary October 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    I applaud you! I hope I can get the courage to give up wine one day. That is why I am following your blog.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl October 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      Hi, Mary,
      Thanks! I KNOW you can, and it DOES take courage to start on this journey. You can do it, and you’ll do it when you’re ready. HUGS!

  5. faithanonymous October 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I’m in the same boat, in terms of day count and frustration in sitting in it. “It” sucks. Ten minutes from now I could be AA’s biggest advocate..isn’t this roller coaster fun?

    • Drunky Drunk Girl October 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      Haha. I hope you’re OK and didn’t get thrown off on that upside-down loop! YES, the “it” sucks, the up and down sucks. But, that’s part of life, from which we cannot escape. And, I just know it’s got to get better and easier, the longer I’m sober. For you, too! xx

  6. ac wilson November 24, 2018 at 12:01 pm #

    Finding this blog was exactly what I needed today. Thank you.

  7. ac wilson October 5, 2019 at 12:42 pm #

    October 5, 2019….
    I’m sitting on my floor eating cheese pizza, reading a copy of this that I had printed out during my first attempt. That lasted five months.
    On Day 39 this time and I stared down to see the date. Thank you for writing this, it’s still motivating at least one person six years later.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 23, 2019 at 3:08 pm #

      I am sorry I never replied to this until now–sooo grateful to know that my words are helping someone in that hard place of early sobriety. Wow, well, I hope your day 39 has turned into day five months (150?), but if not, it’s OK. As they say in AA, it takes what it takes. I know, I know, I’m not one to quote AA platitudes, but after all the sober-getting and journey-ing, it really is best boiled down to that: it just takes time, and many tries, before it sticks (and honestly, most don’t know why that one time worked and all the others didn’t). Stay strong, you got this.

      • ac wilson July 2, 2022 at 5:18 pm #

        i’m on day 1,040 and this article still gives motivation

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