Hey, guys. It’s been so long, and in a nutshell, I’ve been working. Trying to earn a living. I have been both freelancing and working part-time as a barista, and I hosted a friend and then my mom two weeks back to back this month. It’s been tiring. Today was a shitty day at work, and I can’t help but blame myself (of course): I’m too quiet, I’m too thoughtful, I don’t smile enough, I work too slow, I make stupid mistakes. Le sigh. I’m usually able to bounce back emotionally–as in, I don’t let the thoughts make feelings make ruminations and a bad day–but for some reason, I just feel tired of it all today.
My mom is getting older. What happened to her 50s and 60s, I ask? I feel like I missed the transition, and only now do I see that I can’t go back. I can’t get her younger self back, and I can’t get my younger self back, and I can’t get all that time back that I spent pushing her away. I think a lot of people must feel this way, but I didn’t know that it would be a literal feeling, one resembling grief, I suppose.
Anyway, my mom will be 69 this year. She has developed what seems to be some profound anxiety and insomnia, and she has some physical ailments that just keep filling in the lines as the years go on. While all this is troubling in that I can’t quite seem to relate to her, what is most troubling is that I have a continued lack of ability to communicate with her about my drinking past. I sort of try, but mainly I just feel awkward telling her the gory details (and, with her anxiety in mind, I shy away from giving her anything else to worry about or ruminate on–that’s the way I see it, I’m sure she has a different perception). Of course, she witnessed it. However, aside from her, there was only one other family member who confronted me. I’m still baffled by that.
What’s also news to me: THEIR view of me, as the drunk, as the person who was trashing her body, as someone who couldn’t necessarily be relied upon, as the one making poor choices–this view is not going to go away JUST BECAUSE I AM NOW (three years!) SOBER. And, for some reason, I guess I thought it would. I thought it would sort of disappear, like my drinking habit. Granted, there has been no, “Hey, look at me, I’m sober now!” on my part. There also hasn’t been, “Hey, I’m sorry for all that shit that you might have been bothered by or that might have pissed you off or alienated you, but that you never said to my face” either. From an outsider’s perspective, and that includes MOST of my close friends and family, I got sober very quietly. Except, I wrote about it and talked about it and reported on it–with everyone BUT my immediate family. This seems to be the pattern, and I don’t know why: it’s really hard for me to share my life and feelings with my family! It’s been this way forever, and I guess it comforts me to know that many people find a tribe or “family” outside their genetic one, the one they were born into.
My family is fractured, but not in the sense that I don’t have a relationship with both my mom and dad. I’m just not sure they’ve ever been easy, or even good, relationships. And that bothers me. It’s always been a struggle to relate, to navigate, to extract. I don’t know. Maybe if I felt more comfortable, then my perspective would be different. But, it’s always been hard and I have the feeling it always will be–no matter how far along I think I’ve come in my sobriety. The problem has become, I’m sober for three years now–err, I have very little desire to rehash all the crap I went through. All the blog stuff I wrote about, all the craving bullshit, all the psychic back and forth. It’s done, it’s over, I’ve shrunk my brain to the point where I feel “normal” again. Or, at least focused on the present, the real, the emotions that need to be felt and dealt with in order to conduct a life. I don’t want to talk about it now with my parents. That leaves a HUGE gap–what to fill it with, then?
I’m tired, as you can tell. Nothing inspirational today. I was up at 4:30 to make my shift, which was a rough one because of a bad coworker. What I should be doing it job searching, but frankly, all I want to do is nap. I feel like I have a hole in the middle of my stomach. BUT… I’m sober, so sober that I don’t even think about being sober! My boss came in hung over and had to take a nap mid-morning (on the floor of a neighboring shop). Most of the regulars at my coffee bar participate in this place’s “drink hard, drink-and-work harder” culture, so…I also saw quite a few peeps with pained expressions on their faces. NO desire. It’s cast me as a goody-goody at work, the quiet one; but I’ll take that ANY day over being hung over and not remembering what I did the night before.
Onward. All in due time. Grateful. Breathe. Joyful entitlement. These are my daily affirmations, and they keep me on the track that I have come to cherish, and which I get to share with all of you!