(OK, guys. Here was my post from this weekend, which I took down almost immediately after putting it up. I’m just going to be blunt: sometimes, I feel like soberites often try to sugarcoat this shit. It’s rarely revealed, the nitty fucking gritty of this struggle–which is why I started this blog over three years ago.
You know, I still struggle on a daily basis–with the little things, mostly, and not all of them are in any way sobriety-related. That being said, being sober can still suck ass! I get tired of not going out and having “real” fun. I still have trouble making friends. I still do feel like I’m missing out on holidays–yes, of course, I can have fun without wine now, but…there will always be this hole, this self-consciousness, and for me, this seriousness that I can cover up for others, but that I feel on the inside when I go out sober.
Anyway, here you go. I hope this post helps you if you are feeling cray and battling a craving that is brought on my a mood swing, depression, anxiety, thinking about the past, or in general, just wanting what you haven’t got.)
Today was a bad day. A really fucking shitty day. And, even I can see how stupid that makes me seem, or sound. Of course, I am grateful. I am healthy, have all my hair and limbs. I am here, having successfully moved, bought a car, and made it through 11 weeks of ups and downs at work, with the roommate (I am moving soon), with the desert climate (I am not a fan).
The sun is shining. I was not in the horrible plane crash this morning. I can run–I did run today–and don’t have to use walking sticks because I have, for instance, MS (I saw a man today with sticks who looked like he could have been in the early stages of MS, and it made me grateful that I can still go jogging). I think about these things; I’m not trying to be flippant or mean. Yes, I am grateful, and yes, I know this was just a bad day and it will be better after just going to sleep (please, God, let me zonk out for 12 hours, and not 4). It’s a strange life, and I feel for all of us.
But, sometimes the reality is: Life can seem really fucking LAME sober. There, I said it.
At 3.5 years, I still resist making friends; I still don’t want to dress up for Halloween and go out SOBER; and just once, once, I would love to not be so fucking conscious all the time.
This shit sucks. This shit sucks. Being sober SUCKS.
But, drinking is NOT an option. It is not a solution. So, what is?
Sitting with it for hours, the whole day even, until it passes. Until I no longer feel like crying. Until I can see the forest through the trees and reaffirm to myself that NO, I don’t have to live in the suburbs doing a “meaningless” job forever–and I probably won’t. Until my belly and lungs and head don’t feel pinched and cramped and burning. Until the “drinking brain” is not stronger than the “thinking brain.”
Until all that happens, I will just sit here–or, drive around, or go running, or just get another coffee (because binging on caffeine won’t precipitate a mood crash, right?). I will not do anything until it passes. I will NOT react to the drinking brain, which is SO strong right now, which is almost drowning out the nearly inaudible peeps of my thinking brain. I will just SIT HERE UNTIL IT PASSES.
Why? BECAUSE DRINKING IS NOT AN OPTION. It used to be, when it still worked. Now? It will only leave me feeling much worse tomorrow, in a world of actual pain.
(Remember about this time last year? You drank that one time last October, for similar reasons–treading over a well-worn path, ambling down memory lane…and then, habitually reacting to past lives and emotions you were sure you had extinguished. And, remember how you felt the next day? Oh, yes. Never again, remember? I have to say, if I only feel like drinking once per year, I’m doing pretty damn awesome, right? YES. I recognize that, and that makes me feel strong, but also frustrated: why is this still happening? Why is it coming back, like a dormant virus?)
And, it passes. Might take the whole day, a lot of faking it until I’m making it–tonight, I kind of put on a show for a couple new friends over pizza at a local shop–but that’s what it takes. I thought that was over, that I didn’t have to fake it because I was totally, 100 percent cool with being sober? You know what? It comes and goes, more infrequently the longer you’re sober, thankfully. But, it still comes and goes.
And, this, too, is getting sober. This, too, is staying sober. I mean, I thought by now I’d have my triggers down pat, and my coping mechanisms in place. And, for the most part I do. Except when I don’t, and I find myself doing all the following things, that are triggers and that, my friends, I recommend you NOT DO:
not making plans, even though I am tired, for the holiday weekend; reacting instead of pro-acting when it comes to party invites (that entails forcing myself out of my comfort zone but also simply accepting that it takes time to make new friends when you move somewhere new); putting so much emphasis on an arbitrary day that someone said should be “fun” but that really makes a lot of people feel stressed, or lonely, or lame; stalking ex-friends on FB; fucking continuously checking FB and seeing NOTHING but kid pics and smiling faces; driving around instead of just parking and doing something; driving around in the dark, alone (I used to do this a lot when I lived north), LOOKING instead of just BEING. Lurking.
Lurking. Like, looking in windows to see who’s inside and what they’re all doing. Instead of focusing on ME, on what I’m doing. It’s a version of “keeping up with the Joneses,” and you know what? It’s not only a trigger, it’s a huge life-wasting distraction. And, it’s been a while since I felt like I was lurking, but ever since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed myself falling back into my own trap.
Deep breaths. The night is here, and I am really glad for that. I’ll probably just go to sleep. There will be plenty of time tomorrow to regain your patience, your footing, your perspective, DDG. YOU GOT THIS. And, thank GOD, I will be able to do that tomorrow because not only will I be well rested, I will be sober. Sure, I’ll have missed out on something–costumes, watching drunk people fall down, listening to drunk people get into nonsensical fights with their boyfriends and cry on the phone sitting on some random stoop at midnight–but it’s not the end of the world. What is the biggest bummer, I think, is that I thought I had long since left behind caring about this stuff.
Love to all. Thanks for reading, curse words and all!