Do you still miss drinking?

21 May

10:16 am

Well, that’s a question, isn’t it?  My boyfriend and I were driving to the beach the other day, or back from some boat trip, and he was like, Do you ever miss drinking, or still want to drink?  Or, do you just not talk (complain) about it anymore?

Hmm.  I really had to think about it.  I’ve been thinking about drinking, and sobriety, but I just haven’t been coalescing those thoughts into posts.  And, as you guys know, it’s partly because life has gotten busy, work-wise.  I’m still working remotely for the company I was at, and I’m also working three to four days a week at the same local coffee shop.  And, frankly, it’s still not enough money, considering my ever-present student loan debt, future goals and dreams, and well, life is expensive.  But, it’s comforting to know that I do have spending money (the lattes money), and I don’t feel “guilty” buying trips, new shoes, and expensive food items once in a while.  As Peter Tosh sang, most of us are livin’ small.

The other reason I haven’t been blogging is this irritant factor.  It’s like, I’d rather just not think about not drinking anymore.  But, I DO think about it, all the time.  It’s just changing.  It’s weird.  While I miss getting sober–there is definitely a “high” to achieving and sustaining a longish-term sobriety, and I’d say that lasts up to years–I do have to accept that I’m beyond that.  The pink cloud still rests above my head, it’s just sort of faded.

I mean, yes, when I see people come into the coffee bar at 5:30 (my start time–ouch), STILL FLAMING DRUNK and having incoherent and emotional arguments with each other, I cringe inside; and then, I breathe a sigh of relief.  And that relief doesn’t ever go away; in fact, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I have to admit, in my darker hours, or my agro ones after the caffeine buzz wears off and I get “hangry,” a small part of me feels smug about it–just a little bit.  Mainly, though, this sense of relief, of being FAR, far away from the urge to binge drink/drink alcoholically–it’s a constant, gracious presence.  I feel gratitude all the time.  For not feeling the urge to drink, ever, really.  And for never, ever having to be hungover like that again.

What I don’t feel is the excitement in congratulating myself anymore.  And, I suppose that’s a good thing.  Life is just life, it doesn’t have to revolve around this idea of “me being or getting sober, or being pleased with me being or getting sober.”  You know?

However, then my boyfriend hits me with that question, and it stirs up the fact that I haven’t forgotten about my sobriety at all, and I have to say:  Yes.  Yes, I do still think about drinking.  Yes, I do still want to drink once in a while, when I encounter a very powerful (to me) trigger.  When?  Well, let’s just say, on a boat trip, when I feel jealous (ugh) of all the hot, young girls with their flat bellies (well, I never had a flat belly, even in my 20s).  On that same boat trip, toward the end, when my insecurity about being “old” has been sufficiently compounded by the sense that I’m not only “old,” I’m also boring–that’s when I really start to feel grumpy and want to drink.  I feel sorry for myself.  It’s residual though, like a long lost limb from a faraway ancestor–I can intellectualize it away, and realize that it’s just a feeling.  Still, I do feel tired of being the “narc.”  (In fact, at the last beach bar we stopped at on this “for example” boat trip, I ordered a virgin tropical drink, and the guy goes, “I die a little every time someone orders said tropical drink without the rum.”  And I look up, pissed, and I go, “Well, I die a little every time I drink rum.  So, what do ya got for me?”  He wasn’t displeased, but he was definitely taken aback.  He ended up adding coconut water, and let me tell you, it was pretty damn tasty!)

I have to stress, and this is most important as my sobriety lengthens:  it’s not that I want to get drunk.  It’s just that I want to…not be sober.  When I see a friend of mine, doing it up in the big city we used to live in together, drinking drinking drinking all over the place, every night; I feel…some sort of loss.  I know it comes back to this fear of missing out, or my OLD ideas and notions about how to “have fun” or “have a good life.”  My OLD ideas of me.

I don’t miss getting drunk.  What I, Drunky Drunk Girl, miss is the ability to instantly and effortlessly escape my seriousness.  The world.  Daily, “hum drum” life.  Some might call it a lack of free spiritedness, an “always in my head”-ness, a sobriety of thought, or, an overwhelming thoughtfulness.  Maybe it’s simply neuroticism:  the tendency to overthink negative (and positive?) thoughts.  Maybe I can call it depression, as this lingers.  I don’t know.  But, I do miss being able to “be that fun girl.”  Of course, I know I can be that fun girl in other ways, and that frankly, I WAS NEVER THAT FUN GIRL when I was drinking.  But, the constructs and stories we tell ourselves linger on and on into our sober years–and it really does take a constant checking in to right, correct, re-mold these ideas.  And, yeah, the peer pressure is always going to be there unless you check in and say, Fuck that, I rock.  SO MUCH HARDER NOW THAT I’M SOBER.

So, no, I never want to get drunk.  But, yes, I still do want to “not be me.”  Or, be that fun girl.  Or, escape from my sober life.  And, I guess that’s what we give up in exchange for constancy of mood, deep knowledge of self, and the GIFT of being able to look forward, with relatively laser focus, on our lives–and to make plans that suit us, lift us, and maximize our potential.  That is worth a thousand nights of drinking, and a million mornings of being hungover.

Information diet

27 Apr

4:10 pm

So, I am in “overwhelm” mode at the moment.  That place when your brain implodes from the sheer amount of distracting, and mostly useless, information out there from our 10 million feeds, accounts, and profiles.


Number one biggest trigger:  too much information.

Number two biggest trigger:  missing out on some important information that I’m supposed to know as a freelance journalist.  I know, I know, there is always going to be a huge gap between that millennial who seems to know it all and be able to keep up, and me; but, into that dark night I will not go quietly.  So, I force feed myself–and then, apparently, vomit it all over you, my dear readers.

(That’s why I’m a writer:  I would never be able to say these things in person, to you.  And, I am eternally grateful that you’ll read them, and hopefully not take offense.)

Generally speaking, I think I probably consume more heavy information than other “laypeople.”  That doesn’t mean that we all are not utterly bombarded with a constant stream of shit that we have to not only take in, but process.  I don’t think most of us really understand how our brains are working, but they’re working really effing hard to retain, categorize, and discard the most unimportant information.  But with stories to read, the headlines that constantly ping us; the Beyonce video and all that Buzzfeed bullshit to parse; with emails and notes to self and poems never started, book chapters barely dented, not because you can’t hold your focus beyond a few paragraphs but kind of; and well, all the other in real life stimuli?  Good God.

Today, and recently, I have had to close Facebook down–nope, I’m consciously choosing to miss those stories that might be relevant, or even provide fodder, for my next pitch.  I am fully aware that by NOT having a Twitter account–or, at least not actively participating on Twitter–I may be intentionally doing harm to my chances of not only succeeding in the world of freelance journalism, but in even being taken seriously (at least what I’ve heard and read, which probably doesn’t paint an extremely accurate picture).

Oh, Twitter.  Is it a necessary evil?  (Maybe I can hire someone to do Twitter for me?  Some said millennial who hasn’t had her concentration brain pathways already torn up by red wine–haha.)  Twitter is, for me, some next-level cray when it comes to information overload, and I just can’t.  I don’t have the patience, the gut for it.  It makes my belly clench just thinking about it, trying unsuccessfully to take it all in, process the ever-expanding amount of things and ideas and facts and news headlines and PR points and opinions, all of which each individually ping my brain to think and my heart to feel…just a little bit of something–but, within milliseconds, I can no longer remember what.

We don’t think about it, we just do…  Until we can’t.  I’m at that point today.  I just can’t.

I’ll be OK, though.  Writing this helps.  Writing helps.  Sitting down and getting it out, helps.  I read a little today.  Sitting down and taking a small piece of a much longer narrative in, well, that is an antidote to reading only a headline and moving on to the next one, ceaselessly.  In fact, an information diet doesn’t sound half bad.  Now, if only I can get past the fear of not logging in.

I’m home..and kind of tired

23 Apr

12:37 pm

I’ve been “home” for a few weeks now.  And, well, admittedly, I’ve been feeling tired, and sort of alone; and realized (again) today that despite all that “sober” work, I’m still me:  I have trouble reaching out to people.  And that I really need to do that.  And that it’s the only thing that leads to feeling a part of things, of life, of community.  Duh.  Well, not duh to people “like us,” who, for whatever reasons (natural hermits, fear, self-consciousness, “drinking thinking”), find it really hard.  It’s hard.  But, once you get over that hump–I did it once and I am going to do it again, get over that hump–life greatly improves on SO MANY LEVELS.

So, yeah, I’m home (from where I was for a work contract for that past 7.5 months).  And, it’s kind of cool that I consider this place my “home” now, if not a little scary–I don’t really love familiarity.  Anyway, I flew home about 3.5 weeks ago–and have been struggling ever since to figure out my new, well, everything.  New (old) home, new (old, well, current because they are letting me work remotely right now) job, new (old) schedule, new (old) climate (I have to say, going from 20% humidity on the regular to 80% when it’s not raining hasn’t been that easy).  It’s been a lot of things, but tiring and confusing come to mind.  Life is tiring and confusing, and I think I’m just extra tired and confused right now.  Haha.

Tiring.  It’s all happening at once, and I want to do it all at once.  That means, writing a book (!  just gotta try), writing stories, writing a business plan (!  just gotta try) so I can open a coffee shop of my own, all amidst trying to figure out the rhythm of life here, again.  It’s kind of maddening in that, I put SO much effort into leaving, and I left, and now, I’m back, and it feels like I didn’t leave.

(The one thing I learned that I’m blindly, almost, clinging to right now is this:  what you FEEL and what you BELIEVE or THINK you know, is usually wrong, or at best, doesn’t align with what actually IS, or with what actually WILL BE.  Haha.  So, I’m just going to put all this thinking into a box on the shelf and come back to it later.)

Depressing.  Well, maybe I’m finally coming out of my depression?  I don’t even know exactly how I feel.  I will say that my depressive symptoms have eased now that I’m not chasing around constantly, stressing continuously, and well, now that I’m actually eating normally again.  My diet was horrible there–I was literally starving myself for the past 7.5 months.  Like, 80% consciously aware of it, the other 20% a combination of denial and depression, I think.  (Eating disorders are definitely deeply ingrained behaviors, and for me, even more buried and hard to discern and examine and change than binge drinking behaviors.  At least with drinking, you know that it’s fucking you up; with bulimia, or restrictive eating, it’s the opposite effect in that you THINK it’s improving your life, somehow–and then you come to depend on how it makes you think and feel about yourself, and not just your life.  So weird.)

Enlivening.  Well, it’s great to be home, in a (almost too) familiar place, with my boo, my dogs, and job prospects that I left…and that I just have to plug myself back into.  I have to rev up to do it, is all.  Why?

The ever-looming conflict for me is this:  do you just plug back in when you know that moving on might be the more challenging thing to do?  The thing that makes you grow, change, learn, expand?

More later.  That’s about all the time I have (I have to do something for work, and then, do errands–the never-ending to-do list of coming home…).  Miss you all.  (Oh, and no thoughts of drinking since being home; none.  I’ve been tossing around the idea of just forgetting about the entire “getting sober” thing of the past FOUR years, but, how?  And, why would I?  Should I?  I can’t let it go.  I can’t, and that’s OK.)

Better than “pause”

9 Mar

11:23 pm

I just want to check in and say hi.  This year, man.  It’s kind of kicking my butt.  I haven’t been sick in years, and this year I got it.  All of it.  I have literally been sick with progressively worse “this, that, and the other” for over a month, culminating with a sinus infection that morphed into a “flu” on Saturday night…and is continuing to wreak havoc on my simple goal of “not hot mess” at work these days.  Ugh!

Which is why I came straight home from work tonight, and took a bath, and am now about to crash.  Can I just say:  HOW THE FUCK did I manage to drink until 2 and 3 and 4 am on a school night, let alone when I was sick?  I saw some of my “on this day” Facebook posts recently (strangely, I was sick on the same days, in more than one year), and I know that I did not stop the red wine while sick.  I guess I’m older and maybe push myself harder during the week anyway, or maybe I just PREFER taking a bath and giving myself a facial and just chilling with an episode of “House of Cards” these days to the bad old days of dancing around in the dark while having fake conversations, and beating the eff out of my body?  Maybe.

I’m baaaaaaack (cue the curse words).

So, I wanted to share something meaningful at some point, so I figured I’d finally just post a draft that I wrote a few weeks into January, when I was feeling pretty depressed.  It happened, and insights were had, so I figured, why not share it now, when I don’t have much energy to write anything tonight?  So, here goes:

…The other day, I tried drinking.  I’ve done it once, maybe twice since that night in October 2014 (I know, it feels like yesterday to me, too!), when I got shitfaced on a whole bottle of red wine after a long, long many days of not drinking, and had the worst hangover EVER the next day.  Anyway, since I moved here (6 months ago, to a new locale where I’m working a contract gig), I have tested (or, tasted?) the waters only once before the other day.  I made it through about 5 ounces of a red wine buzz before I turned it off.  It felt bad.  I dumped the rest of the bottle down the drain, just in case.

The next time I got the bug in my head to “try it” was a few nights ago.  I ended up drinking about two 5-ounce glasses.  (They were very small pours, because I remember my hangover from a year ago and am scared my body just doesn’t compute alcohol anymore–which has been a great lesson for me, but I will save that for another post).  AND GUESS WHAT?  I was hungover the next day–for the whole day.  I did stuff, even went hiking, but I felt depressed, sandy, and unable to think clearly.  It sucked.

What sucked more was the buzz.  I was observing it, of course, very closely, just to see, you know–what exactly about this appealed to me?  And, how can I completely rid myself of the residual obsession with red wine as cure-all?  Aside from feeling truly unable to think clearly while drinking, the main thing I felt was stuck.  Paused.  Pulled back into a vortex of stale history–stale feelings, events, people long gone; ideas that NO LONGER FUCKING MATTER because I’ve had SUCH MOVEMENT FORWARD in my sobriety.

Sobriety=movement, a dance, water.  Drinking=pause, stillness, stale air.

Of course, drinking made me feel like I was going back in time because, well, when I drank, all I did was focus on my issues, and on the people who weren’t giving me what I needed, or wanted.  I’ve come far in terms of all the things I’ve been able to do, and all the feelings and ideas I’ve been able to unlock.  I’ve realized that drinking doesn’t really serve any purpose because I don’t have unlocked things to claw at.  (That’s coming from someone who drank primarily when she felt bad, or unable to reach what was inside, whether sadness or joy).

Now, all that stuff that was stuck inside?  It’s all right here, in front of me, on the surface, visible.  It’s like sea glass on the beach, sparkling below my line of sight, waiting for my calm gaze to spot its gleam.

That is what sobriety enables.  It allows me to uncover things–discover things–in a perpetual state of motion.  Drinking, on the other hand, especially without anything to focus a relative lack of angst on–it feels more like pressing the “pause” button on my brain.

These days, when I get that brainworm that says I cannot move forward without drinking, I just don’t react to it.  However, I’m glad I did the past two times here.  It’s just one more tool in my box.  I can remember this experience when I start to fantasize that drinking will make my boring job less boring, will make my hormonally-induced mood swings go away.  In fact, drinking has nothing to do with either of these things.  Which is kind of obvious, right?

I’m buzzing around these days (no pun intended), working hard and playing hard, trying to see as much of the area as possible so that I can decide my next move.  I like it here, but I don’t necessarily love it, and I don’t necessarily feel attached to what I’m doing (which continues to be a driving force behind my moods).

In fact, with all the recent celebrity deaths in the news, the point has hit home hard:  life is short.  To me, at 41, that means:  do what you want.  Really, do what you like.  You’ll get paid, you will.  Do what you want!  LIVE YOUR DREAMS, don’t just dream them.  Do you want to own a coffee shop?  Take out a loan and buy one.  START.  Do you feel like where you’re living and what you’re doing is a huge step back?  MOVE.  FORWARD.

Sobriety, still, is my key to moving forward.  And, I think starting up this blog again will help me to truly see not only how far I’ve come, but how much farther there is to go–living sober, not just getting sober.

Things end, things begin

28 Feb

1:53 pm

I’ve missed you all, and I’ve missed sharing the milestones of long-term sobriety (or, several years of sobriety–feels like forever to me, and I know I will never, can never, return to all that).  I haven’t blogged much these past six months because I’ve been working a full-time contract and exploring a new (geographical) place, trying to figure it all out, as it were.  I’ve been essentially wrestling with a lot of what-if’s.  But, I miss my old “sober” life so much.  I’m still sober–of course.  I was reading a post I wrote for The Fix three summers ago, and while a lot of the comments were encouraging, there were a LOT of garbage ones, too.  (Trolls do as trolls are.)  I’m glad I didn’t listen to the garbage and have kept blogging–it, alongside my own resolve and self-discovery, has been the cornerstone of my sobriety.

I am starting to wind down my temporary life here–and, hopefully, wind back up my freelancing.  Which means, more blogging…and more personal writing and “excavation.”  I cannot wait.  I feel like I’ve been starving in a lack of substance, sustenance, for six months.  I need to write, to create, to explore.  I need to be in touch with all the possibilities that emanate from within.  I’m glad for the financial opportunity the past six months have given, but I’ll also be very happy to come home for a while (at least for a few months, while I wait out whatever this company decides to do, which, either way, it’s all good) to just be.

More soon!  Hope all are well…

Time…to reconnect

3 Jan

January 3, 2016, 11:52 am

Hi, all.  Welp, it’s been a rough re-entry into the new year.  I flew 15 hours (well, about 9 hours flight time) on the 1st, and wow, that’s ONE way to spend the first day of the year, I suppose.  I’m still, um, getting things moving again (I feel like both body and brain have sort of stopped working).

I have no words for the year, besides, keep going.  I would love to be less hard on myself, and to allow myself to forget (or at least, value less) my “fabulously interesting” thoughts and feelings; I would love to expect less and fret less and feel less freakishly depressed by my lack-of-placeness and my inevitable march toward what I see as “sexy-less” old age–God, I would love to not know.  I would love to not know.

But, my heart aches, and it breathes, and I cannot deny that.  I do know, somehow, all that I should and will.  I can no longer deny that I have been in tears since day one of this new year, barely hanging onto the scaffolding that I believe (maybe erroneously) holds my world together.  That scaffolding is sobriety, and without it, I would not be able to think clearly on any level.  As it is, I have begun to use caffeine again, and while it’s not as bad as wine–and actually helps move the cells up there, like a temporary reassembly; like packed dirt being roused into a cloud of dust–I don’t like it.  It tires me out, and I am (of course, I am) afraid that I won’t be able to write without my coffee crutch.

So, here I am, knowing that last night I did stare once again at the bottles of Pinot on the shelves, sad-eyed and groggy-brained, wondering, what if?  What if it still worked?  What if it still helped?  I got to thinking about this podcast I listened to, about this dude who “just like that” found himself at a bar, drinking five beers.  And, it angered me.  How dare you, you fucking asshole?  Like THIS shit is so easy to do–fall off the wagon, drink JUST BECAUSE.  And it made me think, there are so many of us–many who are women, and many of these women whose stories are not told, buried, yet ignored–who drink BECAUSE IT SAVES US.  Because the mental and emotional pain, the anguish, whatever it is that society deems silly or worthless to reveal and express, becomes unbearable.

There is nothing else that will fix this, is what I was thinking in my car last afternoon, as I looked, shocked, in the rear view mirror to see a very fraught, wrinkled, greying ME staring into the back seat.

There is nothing else that will fix this pain.  I let myself think it, freely.  So that I could wonder, is this true?  Do I believe this to be true?  I know that the answer is NO, to both questions; but…a part of me remains baffled as to what WILL fix it.  And equally baffled as to, what the fuck IS this pain?  Is it in me?  Is it made up of the hundred million things around me, that make up my world, that don’t feel right?  That leave me feeling tired, and empty, that eat away at the fullness of my soul?  Is it without, embodied by ISIS, and Trump, and climate change–things that I have no control over but that make up my reality, reality in general, even so?  I think part of my role, one that I have to fulfill, if even just for my sanity, is figuring this out; it’s tiring, but I’ve found over the past several months that ignoring it is not going to help me (or help my friends, or help the world–if there is a world that needs my help).  I just can’t turn off the radio yet; maybe Tyreese can, but I can’t (haha–a reference to my fave show, “The Waking Dead”).

I chose to not drink last night, not because of my lofty morals, but because I know it doesn’t work.  And I am afraid of hangovers, because they do not go away the same way they did when I was actively downing two bottles of wine a night.  And, well, I know that it would leave me feeling MORE depressed, and that I would not be able to assuage that sadness by getting up and out and going to the gym this day or the next.  I know that being under the control of a hangover, and wasting my day, would serve to catapult me even deeper into helplessness and hopelessness.

I am not helpless, and I am not hopeless.  I think I’m just sad, feeling stateless, and on the brink of having to make a major life decision.  And, I don’t feel empowered by what I’m doing at the moment, and I don’t feel settled where I’m living, and frankly, I feel like I’m aging here and I do not like it.  No, I do not like it.

I can see so clearly that I do not belong back there, in the tunnel; but, I miss the tunnel.  It’s ridiculous, right?  Only from the end outside of the fucking tunnel can I say, I miss being stuck there.  Because I was younger, and I was naive; and the fretting is part of the addiction.

I think, for me anyway, growing old gracefully is about letting go of the struggles of the past; these struggles are not what makes a life interesting, and sexy, and fun.  These struggles are supposed to end, and you are supposed to move forward, and do new things, and be a new woman.  I cannot go “home” again to being a girl; and, with that, I know that “home” was an illusion that I created.  And, I can only know this because I am, sort of bemusedly smiling as I look, staring back at that girl, clucking my tongue, thinking, My, my, my, you are cute, aren’t you.

I do not like moving from girl to woman.  I can embrace it, and accept it, but I’m not about liking it right now.  And that is truth.

So, I come back to you, friends, my pink cloud having utterly dissipated.

Happy New Year!

(2016, while off to a rocky start, is still ENABLED by sobriety.  Anything and everything that I do this day, this weekend, this year, is going to be made possible by being sober.  Once I get past this…next month, I guess; I think things will start to bloom.  I have been doing a lot of planting, and building; and this year will be no exception.  I think it’s going to be about continuing to build, but also, pulling the cord and making some choices.  About making some ideas and dreams into reality.  About embracing the hard work of making dreams happen.  Maybe that’s why I feel saddened–overwhelmed by the deep joy of living sober, of the work that is here, to be done.)

I don’t care what you did on (your stupid) Halloween!

31 Oct

11:29 pm

(OK, guys.  Here was my post from this weekend, which I took down almost immediately after putting it up.  I’m just going to be blunt: sometimes, I feel like soberites often try to sugarcoat this shit.  It’s rarely revealed, the nitty fucking gritty of this struggle–which is why I started this blog over three years ago.

You know, I still struggle on a daily basis–with the little things, mostly, and not all of them are in any way sobriety-related. That being said, being sober can still suck ass!  I get tired of not going out and having “real” fun.  I still have trouble making friends.  I still do feel like I’m missing out on holidays–yes, of course, I can have fun without wine now, but…there will always be this hole, this self-consciousness, and for me, this seriousness that I can cover up for others, but that I feel on the inside when I go out sober.

Anyway, here you go.  I hope this post helps you if you are feeling cray and battling a craving that is brought on my a mood swing, depression, anxiety, thinking about the past, or in general, just wanting what you haven’t got.)

Today was a bad day.  A really fucking shitty day.  And, even I can see how stupid that makes me seem, or sound.  Of course, I am grateful.  I am healthy, have all my hair and limbs.  I am here, having successfully moved, bought a car, and made it through 11 weeks of ups and downs at work, with the roommate (I am moving soon), with the desert climate (I am not a fan).

The sun is shining.  I was not in the horrible plane crash this morning.  I can run–I did run today–and don’t have to use walking sticks because I have, for instance, MS (I saw a man today with sticks who looked like he could have been in the early stages of MS, and it made me grateful that I can still go jogging).  I think about these things; I’m not trying to be flippant or mean.  Yes, I am grateful, and yes, I know this was just a bad day and it will be better after just going to sleep (please, God, let me zonk out for 12 hours, and not 4).  It’s a strange life, and I feel for all of us.

But, sometimes the reality is:  Life can seem really fucking LAME sober.  There, I said it.

At 3.5 years, I still resist making friends; I still don’t want to dress up for Halloween and go out SOBER; and just once, once, I would love to not be so fucking conscious all the time.

This shit sucks.  This shit sucks.  Being sober SUCKS.


But, drinking is NOT an option.  It is not a solution.  So, what is?

Sitting with it for hours, the whole day even, until it passes.  Until I no longer feel like crying.  Until I can see the forest through the trees and reaffirm to myself that NO, I don’t have to live in the suburbs doing a “meaningless” job forever–and I probably won’t.  Until my belly and lungs and head don’t feel pinched and cramped and burning.  Until the “drinking brain” is not stronger than the “thinking brain.”

Until all that happens, I will just sit here–or, drive around, or go running, or just get another coffee (because binging on caffeine won’t precipitate a mood crash, right?).  I will not do anything until it passes.  I will NOT react to the drinking brain, which is SO strong right now, which is almost drowning out the nearly inaudible peeps of my thinking brain.  I will just SIT HERE UNTIL IT PASSES.

Why?  BECAUSE DRINKING IS NOT AN OPTION.  It used to be, when it still worked.  Now?  It will only leave me feeling much worse tomorrow, in a world of actual pain.

(Remember about this time last year?  You drank that one time last October, for similar reasons–treading over a well-worn path, ambling down memory lane…and then, habitually reacting to past lives and emotions you were sure you had extinguished.  And, remember how you felt the next day?  Oh, yes.  Never again, remember?  I have to say, if I only feel like drinking once per year, I’m doing pretty damn awesome, right?  YES.  I recognize that, and that makes me feel strong, but also frustrated:  why is this still happening?  Why is it coming back, like a dormant virus?)

And, it passes.  Might take the whole day, a lot of faking it until I’m making it–tonight, I kind of put on a show for a couple new friends over pizza at a local shop–but that’s what it takes.  I thought that was over, that I didn’t have to fake it because I was totally, 100 percent cool with being sober?  You know what?  It comes and goes, more infrequently the longer you’re sober, thankfully.  But, it still comes and goes.

And, this, too, is getting sober.  This, too, is staying sober.  I mean, I thought by now I’d have my triggers down pat, and my coping mechanisms in place.  And, for the most part I do.  Except when I don’t, and I find myself doing all the following things, that are triggers and that, my friends, I recommend you NOT DO:

not making plans, even though I am tired, for the holiday weekend; reacting instead of pro-acting when it comes to party invites (that entails forcing myself out of my comfort zone but also simply accepting that it takes time to make new friends when you move somewhere new); putting so much emphasis on an arbitrary day that someone said should be “fun” but that really makes a lot of people feel stressed, or lonely, or lame; stalking ex-friends on FB; fucking continuously checking FB and seeing NOTHING but kid pics and smiling faces; driving around instead of just parking and doing something; driving around in the dark, alone (I used to do this a lot when I lived north), LOOKING instead of just BEING.  Lurking.

Lurking.  Like, looking in windows to see who’s inside and what they’re all doing.  Instead of focusing on ME, on what I’m doing.  It’s a version of “keeping up with the Joneses,” and you know what?  It’s not only a trigger, it’s a huge life-wasting distraction.  And, it’s been a while since I felt like I was lurking, but ever since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed myself falling back into my own trap.

Deep breaths.  The night is here, and I am really glad for that.  I’ll probably just go to sleep.  There will be plenty of time tomorrow to regain your patience, your footing, your perspective, DDG.  YOU GOT THIS.  And, thank GOD, I will be able to do that tomorrow because not only will I be well rested, I will be sober.  Sure, I’ll have missed out on something–costumes, watching drunk people fall down, listening to drunk people get into nonsensical fights with their boyfriends and cry on the phone sitting on some random stoop at midnight–but it’s not the end of the world.  What is the biggest bummer, I think, is that I thought I had long since left behind caring about this stuff.

Love to all.  Thanks for reading, curse words and all!

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