Tag Archives: workaholism

Work is still my trigger, I just don’t react to that trigger

13 Nov

9:50 pm

Last night and this morning, I was in a horrible, type-A mood. Still sort of am! So impatient, so all about perfecting the process. I took yesterday off, and so today, I had to schedule about 4 hours of interviews. These were all for highly technical pieces, with business folk, so…you can’t be on your B-game (as sometimes you can be with scientists, because they’re more relaxed, willing to explain, tolerant of “dumb” questions).

Sigh. I realized two things: one, I really need to learn how to go with the flow again; and, two, even while I am passively disliking my work, I need it, like a fix.

The first is simple to examine: I have lost my desire to solve problems, to put up with glitches. And, let’s face it, LIFE is full of them. What I think it boils down to is having to be in a semi-agitated state all the time, constantly resisting the urge to drink. I mean, I still want to drink, and I still can’t drink. And, that takes energy, it takes work. It’s tiring being sober. (It’s also tiring having constant pain in my lower back, and having to worry constantly about making next month’s bills.) The point is, when you’re always on like this, it’s hard to be able to tolerate the little things. Like my phone not working. Like having to fix my gadgets–I HATE fixing gadgets, I just want them to work! Last night and today, I got so irritated by my phone not working, and a little thing that could’ve easily been solved turned into a big thing that ended up really pissing me off.

All that being said, I know I just have to find a way to be sober AND dig deeper. Channel more tolerance of the “problems” that I used to find fun to solve, of the bumps in the road, the minor obstacles. What can I do to manifest more patience? A walk helps. Petting the dogs. Laughing at something, anything. Just feeling grateful–I am alive, and I remember being more playful when it came to “things,” so it will come back with time. It has to, right?

The second thing is something I have to sit with. It’s like, I can’t wait until my work is done, is the overriding thought in my mind. And, After my work is done, I will have wine–well, that used to be the second thought. So, the problem is, I “hate” what I do? Yet, I get off on it. I NEED it, I can’t not do it. Is this passion, or insanity? Is it workaholism? For now, I don’t have time to change it; I need and want to make a living the way I need and want to. It’s an “it is what it is” kind of thing–like drinking was for years and years until one day, I just had to fucking deal with it. So, I leave it there, un-excavated, and continue living, working, being sober, and giving myself a glitter ball every now and then. Good enough.

Belle made a point in an awesome podcast about being a “dry drunk” today. I agree, that we don’t have to do anything besides be sober. No rules, no expectations beyond that. I am taking it a step further to say, no expectations beyond that UNTIL you’re ready. Until you’re ready, all the shit in the shit-pit can wait. It can decompose even! As I commented on Jen’s (who just hit 90 days–WOOT!) blog tonight, you don’t have to unearth anything right now. If you don’t want to do it right now, do not. DO NOT. Time will eventually come in and say, It’s time. Your heart and inner strength will tell you when you are ready, and YOU WILL BE. Until then, all you have to do is not drink.

Me, too. Me, too.

(Btw, 240 days today!)

More days, is what’s next

29 Sep

11:45 am

Well, I’ve had two weeks to sort of “toy” with the idea (just an idea) of drinking again. Starting drinking again. Whatever that means, I’m not even sure. And…

I’ve decided that since it’s just right there, I’ll set my next immediate goal at 200 days (which is this coming Friday). Then, on October 12th–a mere week later–I’ll celebrate my “year soberversary,” which is in quotes because since last October 12th, I’ve missed ONE day, right in between at 6 months. So, there will be treats–more treats this time, less excuses for not allowing myself real treats–on those two days. And a mini-parade. With some glitter balls thrown in for good measure.

And then…I’ll set my goal for another 100 days! That’ll take me to what seems like a nice, even, good-sounding number: 300. This will be on January 12th, 2014. That’s the goal, 300 days.

(From there, it’s really easy to see that 365–a true year sans The Grape–is right around the corner, but, I’ll re-assess when I get to 300.)

Why all the planning and days-counting? Well, it helps. It really does. For me, sometime around my 6-month mark (the first time around), I began to see sobriety as less like a lack of drinking and more like a window of time during which I could get shit done, achieve some goals. I could sit back, take a deep breath, and not feel pressured, rushed, or anxious. It was a weird shift, feeling like I could actually rest EASY knowing that I didn’t have to drink, that I would be able to focus on other things besides drinking and not drinking.

So, that’s how this feels now. Once I get to October 12th, it’ll simply be another 100 days where I have “off” from thinking about drinking and “on” for doing my thing–plugging away, moving forward, achieving some new directions.

I start a new job tomorrow. Baker’s assistant. We’ll see. It pays minimum wage, but it’s enough that if I do that AND keep writing on the side, I can easily cover my bills down here. It’s a start, I guess. Back to the “real world.”

As I’ve said in a few previous posts, lately I’ve realized that for whatever reasons, I lost confidence in getting sober. By taking myself out of the game in order to heal, I also isolated. (And, for this reason, I sort of feel a general sense of bitterness toward sobriety, like it’s a bad parent.) Now, though, I feel like my voice is coming back, my ability and desire to use it. My presence. A sense of direction, of goal-oriented-ness.

Sure, I’ve still got a thin skin and worry about everything, let’s face it; but, that old, caution-to-the-wind, “warrior-ness” that I carried around for years is coming back. It almost did me in, carrying myself like that, so this “new me” will be a balancing act: how much to care, and strive, and achieve, and feed my hungry ego (yes, it still cries itself to sleep every night); and how much to just be and do, to let it all go and embrace a softer, gentler, less achievement-focused way of living. I still long for structure, in a way; for those 60-hour work weeks. I think my real addiction might be work, but that’s for another post.

Anyway, today’s a work day. And up most immediately? Calling my dad–it’s a difficult conversation with him; he continues to be depressed, and I have to tell him we’re not coming to visit this fall–and my brother. Gulp. My brother and I haven’t spoken for almost a year. I’m honestly not sure if he’s still holding a grudge from “the New Year’s Eve incident,” when I blacked out and screamed bloody murder at him and his (crazy) girlfriend. That was not this past year, but the year before–two years ago. I’ve been more than a little ticked off that they dragged it out this long–I tried, and tried, and tried saying I was sorry, and I ended up closing my door, so to speak. Now, I’m ready to open it, I guess; to welcome their forgiveness (if that is what it is) and–I hate to put it this way but it’s how I feel–forgive them for not forgiving me. Wish me luck.

Then, maybe some personal writing. Another exercise in patience. At least I have time–because I’m SOBER. And no hangover to make a waste of me today–because I’m SOBER. And a growing sense of “can do”-ness–you know the drill. And, a momentum, doing what needs to be done–you know why. A sense of calm, of peace, of lack of regret, of self-reliance and self-constancy–is that even a word? Self-constancy. Like, as long and wide as a desert; I am here, constant in myself. I like having this SO much that it almost brings tears to my eyes.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

6-week intervals, or, Snapshot of life in 6 weeks

1 May

12:33 pm

I’ve decided that this time around (my fourth!), I’m going to take sobriety in 6-week chunks. Intervals of time that feel, to me, doable. Not too short, but not “forever ever.” Plus, I’ve found that you can set a significant goal or three and work toward actually accomplishing those goals in that amount of time.

This is new for me, to be able to look 6 weeks down the road and KNOW that I won’t drink. Wow. And, it doesn’t bother me, or make me fidget, or take my breath away, or make my head hurt. It just feels…like a relief. A relief to have made the decision–for the next 6 weeks–that I won’t drink. Done and done. Next?

Does that mean that I will drink after those 6 weeks has passed? Like, when mid-June (my birthday, actually!) gets here, will I be like, OK, DDG, since you’ve been such a “good” girl, here’s a case of wine–present from me to you–go to it! No, of course, not. In fact, it’s a bit nebulous: I know from experience that I will probably feel stronger, prouder, less affected by my cravings, and even more committed to continuing on to the next 6 weeks, the next 3 months. However, I’m not going to look beyond right now. Sort of like running 5 or 6 or 8 miles: ya can’t think about the last three when you’re lobbing your tired and heavy legs through the first five. What happens? Tripping, falling, spraining ankle, cursing, tears.

Nevertheless, I feel strong. I’m working more efficiently (shit, I’ve even applied and am considering grad school again!); I’m obsessing less about other people’s so-called achievements in my chosen field. I’m getting more and more of my sense of self back. The “old me” who wasn’t afraid of challenge, who didn’t second-guess her decisions and motivations all the freaking time. Who just went about HER business. There she is! I know her. It’s a relief, is all I can say.

And, speaking of relief, my cravings these past 6 weeks (save for that initial SHITTY hump of getting back on the wagon after almost 6 whole months of sobriety) have sort of morphed into reactions. The craving is no longer an immense wave of feeling that starts in my brain and then, instantaneously, floods my gut with romance and desire. I had quite a few pangs the past, oh, 3 weeks, but they’ve boiled down to reactions–easy to see/understand, easy to bat away. Like, when I sprained my ankle, I wanted to drink. Really? At high noon, in the middle of the jogging park? Please. I know you, wolfie. Be gone! Or, like, when I feel frustrated or angry driving around here, I can almost instantly go from, “I hate this place” to “Might as well fucking drink, I have no life, I’m a loser.” Ha ha. Try again, Wolfie-boy! Your tired voice is so last November, mmkay?

The difference between now, at 6 weeks, and let’s say, last summer at 6 weeks, is that I can observe these reactions, detach myself from them, and counter them with a rational thought process. Working my “sober muscle,” as I call it, has built up this rational thought process. My defenses are stronger. It’s such a relief to not be tied so closely, emotionally, to the addiction’s thoughts.

I think they call this mindfulness. Being able to look at–or over–your feelings, thoughts, and reactions (or, desire to react) as they come and then, let them go.

Anyhoo, I’m taking the day off today. Why? Because I can. Would the DDG of yesteryear been able to actually embrace “just being” instead of let’s say, feeling like she HAS to work 50 hours a week in order to feel valid? NO! Still, I continue to work on teasing out where sense of purpose/achievement end and conditioned behavior/workaholism begin…

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