You are what you think, or not think

2 May

12:11 pm

I just got done listening to the NPR hourly news broadcast, and it was nothing but reports on death and destruction.

The Morning Edition show is all about coronavirus, each story having its unique, terrible angle.

When I troll through my Apple news feed, the stories bring to life, literally, death, destruction, and in general, a sense of anxiety toward the people, places, and things in this world.

When I go on this blog, I write (and read) posts about life, drinking, sobriety–the underlying constant being struggle, rumination, darkness (albeit, a darkness-turned-light).  I mean, there is this thing called a pandemic, and there is this thing called human nature, the human experience–none of it is easy!  And, there IS light in sobriety (which has been born of dark days, for all of us).  However, I (we?) tend to usually write about the struggle to out-think addiction and mental health disorders so that I (we?) can see and feel and breathe in that light.  One day.

I am just tired of it all, in the best way possible, I guess.  I have spent eight years writing about the darkness–the ruminative thinking that perpetuates the darkness.  WHAT IF…I stopped breeding more darkness by simply stopping the thinking, stopping the writing about it all?  By focusing more on the forest not the trees, on things that are not enveloped in the dark shadows of ego-centric thinking, the twists and turns that bind and trap my mind?

I know this to be true:  while daily journaling helps me process my reality and stay sane (100% true, which is why I can’t quit it), I wonder if I am just giving shape and form to dark thoughts and thought patterns–unnecessarily and to my detriment?  In other words, I am not sure if journaling is healthy–or, if it just makes me more pensive; at the very least, if it just brings to light smoldering pre-thoughts that should really just die there, in the rustling, restless dirt patch of my neurotic mind.

Is writing about it making it worse?  Or, should I continue on, living the whole “the unexamined life is not worth living” thing?

I’d like to somehow move on from this process, but to give it up?  I am not sure how I’d function, for real, without my daily journaling (and, I guess this includes blogging here).  I have been longing for some time for an emptier mind–maybe like a white-walled room, or a beach with no movement on the water–emptier than one that has been purposefully splashed with stark, contrasting colors or toed up to make the water murky with sand.

I don’t know; I have been wondering for years, is this writing about it all the time making it better or worse, and I have to conclude:  only I can make that call, decide to carry on or cancel the show.  And, I have to trust my judgment–and ignore the fear of missing out, or of being forgotten–instead of relying on anyone else’s say in the matter.  No one is going to tell me what to do, so, I have to go with my gut (my gut always comes running back to writing it all down, though).

In the end, this is one of those things that made me drink, made me drink alcoholically; it is, in a way, part of my addiction as much as it is part of who I am and who I have grown up to be.  I have always been overly thoughtful and more than a little self-conscious; it’s good for a writer, but bad for a human.  I guess the answer lies in understanding oneself and finding the balance…

Three weeks off Facebook coming up, and I swear, I do not miss it at all.  I SO do not miss keeping up with my “friends,” which makes me wonder a bit about myself, but mainly, gives me a huge sense of relief and solace that I could so easily just let the whole thing go…  I get my news elsewhere, and eh, I don’t think I necessarily need to reconnect with my professional groups, though, I know I will want to one day soon.  Till then, I am happy in my bubble of not knowing; I think it’s time to focus that energy on myself and my projects and goals (to finally start meditating?  haha).

Ironically, just a post as food for thought (or, shall I say, food for not-thought?)!

13 Responses to “You are what you think, or not think”

  1. thesoberraccoonreturns May 2, 2020 at 4:28 pm #

    Interesting post. I have often wondered this myself. Is writing all this down stuff actually helping or is it just adding weight to the struggle of overthinking my sobriety? I still don’t know. Good post though, glad someone else has these thoughts xxx

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 4, 2020 at 11:23 am #

      Thanks for your reply–and, yes, you are not alone, and it’s good to know that I am not either!

  2. Jim Simmonds May 3, 2020 at 2:52 am #

    For what it’s worth: you write really well but yes constant introspection can sometimes drag us back screaming into the very forest we are trying to escape from. What if you change from introspection to outrospection (I know the word doesn’t exist but hey ho now it does)? Reflect on what’s going outside of you but using the insight you’ve gained.A change of perspective? Jim x

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 4, 2020 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks for your reply! Yes, you are right and it’s given me something to touch base on–why not write about other things, a world of other things; or, choose another style (journalism, which I was doing but stopped; poetry, which I loved growing up; fiction, which I haven’t done much of, but could definitely get sucked into). xx

      • Jim Simmonds May 5, 2020 at 7:02 am #

        Ah quite a choice, look forward to seeing something, would you be posting what you do on this blog? X

  3. limetwiste May 3, 2020 at 2:58 am #

    I too have wondered this. Can we go against our own nature?
    No matter where we go, “I” always follows. Boy would I like to leave myself behind sometimes.
    Writing is a necessity for me. I believe it to be very helpful. Whether you choose to write here or privately or not at all is as you say up to you.
    Thinking, real thinking, thought, is difficult. Most people don’t bother and fill life up with mindless distractions. Curiosity is a luxury I plan to keep on exploring.
    Sometimes we just need a break, a rest, a catch up, a breather.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 4, 2020 at 11:27 am #

      Love that last line–sometimes we do just need a break from it all. And, for me, too, writing has turned out to be a necessity. I can’t quit it! xx

  4. Robert Crisp May 3, 2020 at 7:31 am #

    I blogged throughout my first year of sobriety, and it helped…and then I wanted nothing to do with it. I eventually deleted the whole thing (I exported a copy in case I ever want to look at it). Then I deleted my creative writing site, my music site, and stopped social media. This was all before the pandemic, and while I’m still writing and posting (mostly music), I’m even less interested in writing about sobriety or myself than before. If something strikes me and I think it’s worth saying (sobriety wise) I’ll share it. I overthink everything, but man, am I sick of it. I’m trying to take myself less seriosuly and just write for fun. It sure ain’t gonna pay the bills.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 4, 2020 at 11:30 am #

      Thanks for your reply–so interesting to hear your story and evolution. I am not sure how I feel about scrapping it all, or stopping writing entirely; I have definitely wanted to just quit writing, but maybe I should instead focus on a different kind of writing. I have to remind myself that there is a whole world of other kinds of writing–and art, for that matter!–that I can do, not just this introspective blogging…

      • Robert Crisp May 11, 2020 at 6:52 am #

        Yes, there are other writing avenues (which I keep telling myself, sometimes multiple times a day). When I share these thoughts with my wife, she reminds me that the only pressure comes from myself. That’s true, but it doesn’t really help. I’ve given myself a goal of writing 500 words a day just to keep in practice, but it’s just freewriting and there’s nothing salvageable. Is it worth it? I’m not sure. Hang in there, and I will do likewise.

  5. Adrian May 3, 2020 at 9:01 am #

    Beautiful and excellent question. It could go either way. In my view (and experience) it’s ENTIRELY possible that writing can keep me stuck, or at least swimming around in a place that’s not the healthiest or most productive. It’s also the case that letting the writing evolve is the very hardest of things to do. I’ve gotten used to how I sound and those paths my mind traces. And therefore it could be that letting it orient itself toward the light, the positive curiosities, the love, the expansion, the health ends up being the most powerful path. For me there are some very interesting childhood tapes that start playing when I start dwelling in the positives (you’re selfish, you’re smug/complacent/cheating, etc.) which become the next things to love and let go of. (This particular spot then becomes a comical loop, because the loving/letting go of becomes the target of the next you’re selfish/smug/cheating.) (Just typed that “snug.”) Consider loosening that side of things, rather than quitting writing, and see what happens. The world, and the sobriety world, can definitely use some of that 🙂

  6. Adrian May 3, 2020 at 9:06 am #

    I also have experienced this thing where first I have the struggle (e.g., self-medicating with alcohol), then I work with it and do a bunch of healing, and then… there will be these moments where I’m suddenly like wait, can’t I just drop ALL of this? There’s stuff left to “figure out” but I think I’ll just stop it all, instead. That’s the blank wall, the quiet beach, the silent tree. That which comes after the pain, then the struggle, then the healing — it just gets quiet. (I don’t know what comes after the quiet, but it’s surely not the last thing 🙂 But what’s after it is also surely even better.)

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 4, 2020 at 11:35 am #

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply! Yes, for sure, I have that feeling, too, after almost eight years of getting and staying sober–I probed a lot of the reasons “why” and I worked on a lot of what I needed to “fix” about me; now, I am just tired of keeping it all in mind, and like you, wondering, why not just drop it all, does it matter? It’s kind of a loop that never ends, which is why I think this stage of recovery is so hard! I mean, I guess I am in long-term recovery, which has presented a lot of really nebulous challenges, this being one: am I now addicted to recovering (or, the process that I found so much solace in; the identification with the struggle–who am I, now that I am “recovered”)? xx

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