The Dip turned into a valley, but now it’s a new day

4 Aug

11:19 am

Whew. That wasn’t fun. Talk about FOG-BRAIN. And, if I’m honest, a “perfect storm,” a “conflagration” of things that simply coalesced into one big ball of Meh.

Yesterday, after looking at the numbers in my bank accounts, I made the hard choice to “put off my dream(s)” of going back to school/going back to The City–in an effort to keep this blog anonymous, I am not mentioning which cold, big East Coast city that would be… It was a really hard choice. To sum it up, I accepted that I can’t have everything all at once, I might not want or need that “everything,” going back to school is never and should never be thought of as a magic bullet, and, perhaps then was then and now is now and re-living a situation in which I dump every penny of disposable income into simply making it work–well, been there done that and, the tradeoffs are clearer now. Plus, like my mom always says, The City will always be there.

I guess having to finally make the call induced the fog-brain. It typically doesn’t last for long, but it hurts the very same as it did when I was drinking. Absolutely nothing has changed except that I don’t get outside of it anymore, and I hate having to deal with it stone-cold sober. It scares me, and I really want to drink in the face of it. I hate waiting it out, and I hate not having any choice about that. Which, as you can imagine, is why I was telling myself that this sucks, fuck sobriety, and I should really just give up and drink.

Maybe I should check out antidepressants? Does everyone get “fog-brain?” I mean, I felt dizzy for most of the day, to the point where I could barely operate my car. I did manage, but… It’s like, all I can do is sit and stare, alternately let a few tears drop out of sadness, frustration, and meh-ness, and feel literally foggy-brained.

I have never wanted to drink SO badly in the past year, needless to say. But you know what? I sat with that shit until it passed. I counted the days left until 180 and made my plan to guzzle gallons of wine THEN. I seriously contemplated stopping off and getting a bottle or four of red, but, well, I didn’t. I can drink in six fucking short weeks, I kept telling myself. It was interesting to see my desire for wine, specifically, ramp up; I know it was irrational, as, surely wine isn’t the best or only thing that could fix this situation, right? I had this thought, but the “I want wine, wine will make it better” one was a LOT louder.

And then, something miraculous happened. I realized just how UNemotional I am, and how much I can just Get ‘Er Done in times of need. See, all this time, wine made me highly reactive and emotional–up and down, overly teary, easy to anger, and feeling all sorts of extreme emotions. Sure, I was at the point yesterday where I felt like if I went over to see my friend’s new baby, I might actually burst into tears–I’m not envious of her, I’m sad for me, and frustrated that everyone else gets their “shiny new thing,” and when is it going to be my turn? Fucked up, I know. However, beyond that, I was relatively calm.

When my boyfriend left for work, I basically sat down in a chair outside, let the tears fall for oh, about 12 minutes; wiped my eyes, sat down at my computer, and made the call. I dropped my classes, I told someone I wouldn’t be checking out an apartment, and I emailed my advisors and was like, ‘Hey, y’all, I’m not coming this year, but maybe next!’. Then, I made a list of alternate things I would do this year, including write, volunteer, and such.

Yes, I felt foggy-brained, deflated, let down, and sad for the rest of the afternoon, but two things happened that made me see just how miraculous *I* am, and how awesome the act of bouncing back can be–even and especially in the face of cravings. First, I realized how unemotional I actually am–which totally surprised me. Those tears were authentic, but they only lasted for 12 minutes. That was all I needed. I forced myself to eat a sandwich, and then I moved on with my day.

Second, later that night, when the sun finally set and I could see the literal light at the end of the tunnel, I perked up. I showered, grabbed my keys, and drove over to the bar/restaurant where my boyfriend works. He poured me a glass of cranberry juice, and voi-fucking-la, I was smiling again, laughing, chatting it up with basically everyone who stopped by the counter! I felt fine, great, like myself. It brought back memories of me, getting my drink on in days past, but…better. MUCH BETTER. I even got a whiff of someone’s shot of tequila and was like, Oof. No, thanks.

I realized that we drink, for the most part, to fix, to run, to not feel. The only reasons TO drink are illusory, and, well, excuses. For WHAT, well, that is the question we all have to ask ourselves, and which is an individual answer. I also realized that I need to learn to operate in the world, sober people or drunk people aside; and, that’s not easy, so give myself a little credit. There IS drama all around, and I DO have this sort of indignant response to it, like, Man, if you can’t fucking deal with your shit, don’t be around me. What I need is a little more perspective, a little more “live and let live” offered to others. That doesn’t however, mean I have to put up with someone who is clearly drinking alcoholically, right? Right.

Brain, time to turn you off and…go for a run/trot/walk (it is hot as blazes here, and I feel a bit ill after having consumed so much sugar yesterday in an attempt to feel better–back on the Salt Train today). Have a great day, all! And, woot woot, still sober, and approaching 20 weeks tomorrow!

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6 Responses to “The Dip turned into a valley, but now it’s a new day”

  1. runningfromthebooze August 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    I can’t express HOW proud I am of you! That was a tough day to get through.You’re probably going to hate me for saying this, but I think your shiny new thing is your sobriety. I will remember this post when I am struggling. I will soldier on as you have.

  2. karenperrycreates August 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I get fog brain when I’m under stress. I have a hard time thinking, remembering words, what I was about to say. I end up writing lots of lists! I was probably like that when I was drinking too but I reached for a drink when I was stressed. Now, like you, I sit through the uncomfortable fog brain feeling.

  3. thirstystill August 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Sounds like you stood tough in the face of a tough day. Well done you! It’s great that you managed to sit tight and get through it. And I love that the emotional spell didn’t run the show: you cried, you moved on. (FYI, I also get the brain fog when I’m stressed, and it’s ugly. Antidepressants didn’t work so much for me; they made me feel like I was encased in a glass bubble, so I was protected from the downs but I never felt much of anything good, either.) Here’s to staying strong when you need to, and big congrats on 20 weeks!

  4. Sarah August 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    Oh sweets, this entry hit home for me today. Today I celebrate six months of sobriety, and though I’ve not an urge to drink, I’ve had to rework some of my dreams, too. I’m actually looking at a creating a five year plan, though, which I know that I CAN accomplish because I’m sober.

    The lines about being un-emotional and seeing the light are EXACTLY how I’m feeling. I’m in a mess of debt thanks to old student loans, and they HAVE to be paid back, but I can SEE that there will eventually be light again. I am not freaking out about the fact that I owe anymore … it is what it is.

    Keep your chin up, and next time you have your 12 minutes, find me online (twitter = @Sarrup) and let’s chat! ❤

  5. angelpainter August 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    If you have not done so yet, please google PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome).

    Go to bet sober tonight.

  6. carrieonsober August 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    Yay for you, glad you got through it. If we just keep doing what we are doing, right? The fucking wolf with come from different angles, at different times, with an old line or a new one, change his voice, whisper, shout…but if we just do the same thing, over and over, it works and we end up still sober. Hope your new plan works out for you too Cx

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