I still fantasize about drinking. Many days. Not every day, but many.
I still tell myself (subconsciously) that maybe I’ll be able to drink again some day (soon)–and that is what keeps me sober, honestly. For someone who used wine to self-medicate depression–anxiety, existential and creative angst, deep feelings of self-loathing, boredom–no, the urge has not left. But, it IS easier to deal with when I have a huge to-do list, goals; I ignore the voices that keep poking at me, telling me I can’t, It’s not going to happen, etc. etc. etc., and, well, just get to work. And then, I take breaks, I eat and drink way too much sugar, and before I know it, it’s midnight and I’ve gotten a lot on that to-do list done and it’s time to go to bed. And, I have no wine and even if I did, I know that now would not be a good time to drink it. (Going to bed kills wolfie; you can go to sleep and count on the fact that he will be gone in the morning.) So, I go to bed. And in the morning, I’ll get up, make my decaf iced coffee, walk the dogs, and gear up for another run and another long day of editing work and then, (likely) another night of on-and-off cravings.
I’m not sure they’ll ever go away. A part of me wonders, maybe I just need something bigger to invest myself in, something mightily distracting? Like, volunteering in a foreign place, or, going back to school. Both are in the works, actually. Another part of me then wonders, well, maybe I’m still running, just replacing one escape (wine) with another (being busy, biting off so much that I can’t chew let alone drink wine)?
It’s like, I cannot seem to connect “fun” and “reward” in my brain as strongly to anything as wine. Only wine will do. I know, even to me it sounds absurd. But, that’s how it feels. Even now, a year later. There is no buzz as great, as satisfying, as wine. There is no reward worth having as much as wine. I enjoy things–everything, actually–IN SPITE OF IT NOT BEING WINE. I know, I know, there are plenty of treats that I can now partake in, give myself, now that I’m sober and have the time and extra money. What I really want, though, is to end my days drinking wine; more than that, I want to not want wine; and MORE THAN THAT, I want to be able to enjoy other things as much as or more than I enjoy(ed) wine! I’m tired of this–will I ever truly enjoy life again?
I used wine to self-medicate my depression, my restlessness, my anxieties–yes. More elementally, I used it to medicate my boredom, which, according to a recent article I read, is a pathological state of mind and not simply a passing mood. In this article, they find a link between agitated boredom (where you’re actively looking to not be bored, and not finding anything that will stimulate or excite you) and damage to a small area in the brain located above the eyes. It’s the same area that is involved when your brain makes the faulty connection between wine and reward. Great. I actually AM brain-damaged!
I’ve spent my entire life trying to not be bored. Which is why I wrote; which is why I danced; which is why I excelled at school, and sports, and everything under the sun that I could throw myself into. Which is why I’ve lived in about 30 apartments in six different cities since I graduated from high school! This is, however, not all that remarkable, except in the most literal sense of the word: someone who is not inside my brain might remark, Wow, that is fucked up. To me, it’s just that I need more. I need more. Some of us just need more.
What if I drank again to overcome this pull? I mean, maybe I’ve been obsessing precisely because I’ve been withholding booze. What if I started treating it casually, and in that way, it would become casual? Prohibition was an absolute failure. Tell kids they can’t do something, and they’ll go out of their way to do it! Maybe that’s what going on now, with me? The more I focus on not obsessing over how great wine would be, the more I focus on, well, how great wine would be?
(Don’t worry, I’m not planning on drinking. Just thinking out loud… Though, I did get a lot done, and some pretty fantastic things happened today, so…what the fuck am I whining about?)
101 days and counting.