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.)