I just want to check in and say hi. This year, man. It’s kind of kicking my butt. I haven’t been sick in years, and this year I got it. All of it. I have literally been sick with progressively worse “this, that, and the other” for over a month, culminating with a sinus infection that morphed into a “flu” on Saturday night…and is continuing to wreak havoc on my simple goal of “not hot mess” at work these days. Ugh!
Which is why I came straight home from work tonight, and took a bath, and am now about to crash. Can I just say: HOW THE FUCK did I manage to drink until 2 and 3 and 4 am on a school night, let alone when I was sick? I saw some of my “on this day” Facebook posts recently (strangely, I was sick on the same days, in more than one year), and I know that I did not stop the red wine while sick. I guess I’m older and maybe push myself harder during the week anyway, or maybe I just PREFER taking a bath and giving myself a facial and just chilling with an episode of “House of Cards” these days to the bad old days of dancing around in the dark while having fake conversations, and beating the eff out of my body? Maybe.
I’m baaaaaaack (cue the curse words).
So, I wanted to share something meaningful at some point, so I figured I’d finally just post a draft that I wrote a few weeks into January, when I was feeling pretty depressed. It happened, and insights were had, so I figured, why not share it now, when I don’t have much energy to write anything tonight? So, here goes:
…The other day, I tried drinking. I’ve done it once, maybe twice since that night in October 2014 (I know, it feels like yesterday to me, too!), when I got shitfaced on a whole bottle of red wine after a long, long many days of not drinking, and had the worst hangover EVER the next day. Anyway, since I moved here (6 months ago, to a new locale where I’m working a contract gig), I have tested (or, tasted?) the waters only once before the other day. I made it through about 5 ounces of a red wine buzz before I turned it off. It felt bad. I dumped the rest of the bottle down the drain, just in case.
The next time I got the bug in my head to “try it” was a few nights ago. I ended up drinking about two 5-ounce glasses. (They were very small pours, because I remember my hangover from a year ago and am scared my body just doesn’t compute alcohol anymore–which has been a great lesson for me, but I will save that for another post). AND GUESS WHAT? I was hungover the next day–for the whole day. I did stuff, even went hiking, but I felt depressed, sandy, and unable to think clearly. It sucked.
What sucked more was the buzz. I was observing it, of course, very closely, just to see, you know–what exactly about this appealed to me? And, how can I completely rid myself of the residual obsession with red wine as cure-all? Aside from feeling truly unable to think clearly while drinking, the main thing I felt was stuck. Paused. Pulled back into a vortex of stale history–stale feelings, events, people long gone; ideas that NO LONGER FUCKING MATTER because I’ve had SUCH MOVEMENT FORWARD in my sobriety.
Sobriety=movement, a dance, water. Drinking=pause, stillness, stale air.
Of course, drinking made me feel like I was going back in time because, well, when I drank, all I did was focus on my issues, and on the people who weren’t giving me what I needed, or wanted. I’ve come far in terms of all the things I’ve been able to do, and all the feelings and ideas I’ve been able to unlock. I’ve realized that drinking doesn’t really serve any purpose because I don’t have unlocked things to claw at. (That’s coming from someone who drank primarily when she felt bad, or unable to reach what was inside, whether sadness or joy).
Now, all that stuff that was stuck inside? It’s all right here, in front of me, on the surface, visible. It’s like sea glass on the beach, sparkling below my line of sight, waiting for my calm gaze to spot its gleam.
That is what sobriety enables. It allows me to uncover things–discover things–in a perpetual state of motion. Drinking, on the other hand, especially without anything to focus a relative lack of angst on–it feels more like pressing the “pause” button on my brain.
These days, when I get that brainworm that says I cannot move forward without drinking, I just don’t react to it. However, I’m glad I did the past two times here. It’s just one more tool in my box. I can remember this experience when I start to fantasize that drinking will make my boring job less boring, will make my hormonally-induced mood swings go away. In fact, drinking has nothing to do with either of these things. Which is kind of obvious, right?
I’m buzzing around these days (no pun intended), working hard and playing hard, trying to see as much of the area as possible so that I can decide my next move. I like it here, but I don’t necessarily love it, and I don’t necessarily feel attached to what I’m doing (which continues to be a driving force behind my moods).
In fact, with all the recent celebrity deaths in the news, the point has hit home hard: life is short. To me, at 41, that means: do what you want. Really, do what you like. You’ll get paid, you will. Do what you want! LIVE YOUR DREAMS, don’t just dream them. Do you want to own a coffee shop? Take out a loan and buy one. START. Do you feel like where you’re living and what you’re doing is a huge step back? MOVE. FORWARD.
Sobriety, still, is my key to moving forward. And, I think starting up this blog again will help me to truly see not only how far I’ve come, but how much farther there is to go–living sober, not just getting sober.