Today. Jesus. I try, I really do, but I lose perspective when I’m PMSing. A’ll I’ll say is, the week or weeks before my period, I just go mad. Back pain flares, my sugar cravings intensify, and today, a week late, I’m crying on the hillside under a blazing sun in the middle of the day.
“God,” I commanded, with about as much serenity as a hammer, “fucking HELP.” Then, I stopped along the side of the road and cried. And, did I even make it look dramatic for, well, drama’s sake? NO. Did I sit down, hold my head in my hands, and weep uncontrollably? Nope. I just sort of mumbled and stumbled and decided to walk home because the tears and sunscreen were making my eyes burn.
Not three minutes later, as I’m descending the hill toward our house’s road, my neighbor drives up out of hers. So, my neighbor is one of the most “conscious” women I know, and at 29, one of the oldest souls I know. This girl is NEVER not radiating joy. I mean, it’s almost funny, and I don’t know if she was born that way or just works extra hard at cultivating nirvana — or both — but man, her energy is simple, direct, and uplifting. Anyway, I see my neighbor, and we chat for a few minutes, and then she drives away. Coincidence…or direct intervention by my as yet unknown HP? Hmm…
After that boost, I came home and was able to sit and just let my drama pass. And then I consciously chose to proceed with my day. It wasn’t easy, though. But, like someone in AA advised me to do, I allowed myself to experience the frustration (What am I doing here? What do I have to do that lends my time purpose?), agitation (Am I missing out on life in [cold east coast city]? I feel so far away from “things” there!), and sadness (Have I exited the ring for good? Can I put my boxing gloves back on and restart my professional life, or is it time to move on, at least to a different kind of writing?).
Anyway, the day got better. I spent a few hours at one of my favorite beaches, where I swam/snorkeled. It reminded me of why I’m here and what matters, which is appreciating the beauty of the water and coral, the ability to swim, and the bliss of being alone doing so.
And, I realized again that I am way too hard on myself. I get so down on myself for what I DON’T have in my life (kids, a house, a boring job). What about what I do have? Independence, intelligence, experiences galore, my life here, a budding (if I actually water it) freelance career, friends, love, AA, my sobriety and blossoming self-understanding beyond what I thought was possible even a few months ago. My present calm and acceptance. My future. I could like, go back to school for public health, anthropology, or marine biology; I could do some cool shit like research, travel, dig, dive along coral reefs. I could write, fund personal projects, rebuild a house, plant a garden, raise goats, volunteer and travel, have kids or adopt them! WHAT IS SO BAD ABOUT MY LIFE?
And, I had a somewhat strange realization (well, I had it after my AA meeting tonight, where I’ve decided to Take It Easy, come to meetings and not drink; and not beat myself up about not doing anything more than that at the moment): I am an alcoholic because I say I am an alcoholic. And, with the help of peeps in the meetings, who sound just like me, I am (almost) convinced of that. I don’t have to consult with others, compare myself to others, incorporate what anyone else says about me or my “problem” into my thoughts and reflections, dreams or goals. And, this is a good thing! I don’t have to feel bad about it because I’m not doing it out of spite, or as a way to cut people out; I’m doing it because I’ve arrived at a point along the way to enlightenment, which is, to me, a form of surrender = I can’t care anymore what anyone else does or thinks, and that includes what anyone thinks about my drinking and/or my being a drunk.
For a long time, up until, um, probably tonight, I’ve been wondering: am I really an alcoholic? I often look back and remember not ONE person except my current boyfriend telling me to go to AA. And, there were a lot of friends who either drank with me or knew I drank WAY too much, too often, and dangerously. I ask myself why was that? Was it because they were clueless, or had their own problems? Sure. Was it because they didn’t want me to get better as that meant losing a drinking buddy as well as losing someone who made them feel better about their own shenanigans? Probably. Was it because none of them really, truly thought I was an alcoholic, based on what seems to be a circulating presumption about the definition of “alcoholic” but what doesn’t come close to what it actually means? Yes.
You’re an alcoholic if you say you are, I’ve realized. And this, my friends, is a good thing to know! Before, I would have said, I’m NOT an alcoholic. Now, I know I am. What that means for me in the larger sense, I have yet to find out. What that means in terms of my future drinking habits, I have yet to find out. Meetings and hearing others like myself have made me see it for a fact. But, it’s my own conclusion that matters, and noting that will help me move forward dealing with it on my own without having to explain it to others, or involve them, on a certain level. I guess I’ve discovered boundaries. Yay!
Chocolate time. I’d love a glass of red wine, too. Le sigh.