Archive | November, 2013

Why, hello, music, I forgot about you

3 Nov

3:36 pm

Fragile. Remember that Sting song? LOVED it. LOVE it still. It’s on.

Yes, I’m listening to music for the first time–well, I’m exaggerating slightly–since getting sober. I got sober and, for reasons that were nebulous and that I’m just beginning to understand 17 months later, I stopped listening to music.

Maybe I wanted silence. Maybe I needed to focus; like, I couldn’t handle any amount of distraction, I had to work THAT hard at not giving into my incessant cravings. Maybe I needed, somehow, to be in my sober tomb–long enough so that I could be resurrected?

Man, I love music. I love all kinds. ALL kinds. I used to play classical piano–for 10 years. I tried guitar, and flute, and hand drums. I lugged my guitar all the way from the States, and it’s one of my few possessions down here (the rest are in storage). I mean, with all the sitting in front of my computer, pushing through such complicated subject matter, wouldn’t I at least need a break?

Why did I stop listening to music when I got sober? I think it was the effect it had on me, and all the emotions that it conjured. I just couldn’t handle being emotional. Even without wine, music can make me laugh, cry, rage–music can MAKE ME FEEL. When I got sober, everything carried an inordinate amount of weight: Oh, God, that’s the Tori Amos song I used to weep to while slumped over my laptop, drunk out of my mind; Oh, Lord, that’s the Damien Rice song I used to “dance” to when I was falling-down drunk; Oh, fuck, those are all the songs that I went out to, that I turned 30 to, that I relaxed to. That I came of age to, that I planned and dreamed to. That I fell in love to. That I worked and ate and slept to.

I was raw then, and I still feel a bit disturbed, I guess, in listening to music for too long. Like, I would never touch my Sade Pandora station unless I’m feeling 100 percent craving-free. There is an entire genre of music (trip hop) that reminds me so much of my mid- and late-20s that I can’t even bear to hear the first few chords of a lot of those songs. (I hope to get over this one day, because I really do love a lot of those songs.) I haven’t danced in my bedroom, so to speak, but twice since getting sober–once at a bar, to mostly 80s/new wave, and twice on my own next to my desk one afternoon to that stupidly catchy Daft Punk song, “Get Lucky.” (OK, chair and car dancing doesn’t count.)

Weird, because you’d think I’d WANT to release some of this pent-up emotion and energy. I don’t know. Maybe I’m one of those weirdos who needs to focus on the pain in order for it to go away–I know that AA did not work because I didn’t like the way talking about my drinking problem made it seem too uncontained, unmanageable, like a loose sail flapping all over the place in heavy winds.

It’s nice, though, to finally be able to turn it off and just zone out. Blur. Stop focusing. Let the outside world of sound IN. And, with that, I’m working it out.

Nostalgia, not cravings

1 Nov

11:12 pm

I wanted to drink last night. Why? I have this thing that says, I can’t go out and not drink. I can’t hang sober. And, most importantly, I can’t get my “sexy cop” or “sexy nurse” or “sexy unicorn” on WITHOUT WINE. I just can’t do it yet.

I felt sad last night, too. I felt sad that I wasn’t in the big city I used to live in, that I wasn’t dressing up like I used to, that I wasn’t going out to marvel at the bazillion costumes on the streets; that I was here, at home, not able to care, unwilling to even try to pull a costume together.

It wasn’t Wolfie, though, because I didn’t actually want to drink. (OK, maybe I did, but it wasn’t a huge craving.) I just wanted what I used to have, which always happened to include wine! The number of things that I no longer do that coincide with me no longer drinking–well, that’s the rub. I changed a LOT in getting sober, including my job, my location, my friends, and my relationship status. And, in getting sober itself, well, you guys know, you change everything within all those sub-categories! So, sometimes I can’t quite parse out what, exactly, I feel and need to focus on from the mess of thoughts.

No, it wasn’t Wolfie-boy. It was nostalgia. For what I had, and for what I now don’t have.

So, I spent the night feeling sad, and then pouted, and then just went to bed. But, you know what? I got a pumpkin today. And, I wasn’t hung over. And, it’s been a hugely productive past few weeks as a freelance writer. I feel like my renewed focus and enthusiasm to work has been building–and, the past week or so, it just sort of popped! For instance, it seems that all of the sudden, I am pitching, not caring what editors think about me (they don’t), have started having days when the story ideas just keep coming (or, rather, I’ve stopped killing them before they have the chance to bloom in my head).

In fact, Belle was right on about something changing around 8 to 10 months–it happened to me, too. Somewhere around 9 months, things just changed.

I guess I sort of stopped automatically linking wine with relief. Stopped wanting it whenever my energy flagged, or my mood swung, or an editor rejected me, or someone was following me too close in my car, or the sun went behind the clouds. I mean, I still do have thoughts of wine–especially when I am feeling nostalgic and I want what “was” and not what “is”–but I don’t really feel the pull anymore to drink when shit hits the fan. As I wrote on Lilly’s blog the other day, it’s almost like “drinking is not fun” has become a fact, one that is simply impossible to deny. Drinking is not fun–fact. I have other options, like going to bed, or sitting there with a grimace, or watching tv and sighing, or petting the dogs, or going for a 15-minute run and then coming back to my desk and NOT GIVING UP. This idea that drinking is the answer, this emotional pull–it’s gone. And I never thought it would happen, honestly. I thought I would have to battle this pull forever, however niggling. I still do have cravings, but the urge to drink as reaction seems to have disappeared. Bigger fish to fry, Wolfie-fuckhead. SEE YA!

On that note, I am going to go and carve my pumpkin now. Maybe I should give it a wolf’s face? Happy All Saints’ Day, friends!

Wake up!

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