Bad news and your sobriety

19 Jun

1:38 pm

Welp, we are back from a weeklong “birthday” road trip to see my mom and celebrate my big day (well, 44 isn’t really big except for the fact that I am officially in my mid-40s), and um, yeah:  the seemingly constant stream of bad news and overwhelming cynicism (Drumpf, border nonsense, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain) is just TOO MUCH!?  If you only lived in the world of the news media, you would die, mentally and spiritually.  (Which is why I went into science and health journalism.  And, I’ll be the first to say that being a journalist is one of the most emotionally painful jobs out there, and it may very well have been one factor that contributed to Anthony Bourdain’s unhappiness!)

You need to filter it out.  Take a break.  You just cannot think about it all, and take it all in, all the time.  If you’re trying to stay sober–and even if you’re not–it is OK if not necessary to turn off the proverbial radio.

I had this longass post written about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, but I decided to not post it because, what the eff do I know, right?  I mean, I could wax on and on about what I think about life and lifestyle in USA, Inc.–and how our lack of community, increasing lack of empathy, and overall stress levels and competition cause people to lose sight of what’s really important and worth worrying about–but…

I won’t.  Ultimately, I don’t believe you can help other people become and be happy.  You just cannot help other people gain this hard-won prize (if you’re prone to negative self-talk and depression, it is, indeed, hard won).  You can be there for them, and you can tell them things, and you can try to do things that you think will help them, but every single person is responsible for their own happiness.  And, that’s a lesson that most people have to learn!?  And these days, I think that takes a LOT of work because a lot of us live in tiny, isolated bubbles of individual pursuit, punctuated only here and there by other people.

I’ll be honest:  I stopped going to meetings early on because I just could not stand the pressure of other people’s drinking problems AND my own!  And, that worked for me; it was necessary.  As I came up on SIX YEARS SOBER (more or less) a few days ago–and the anniversary of starting this blog on June 14, 2012–I couldn’t help but feel like, so what?  NOW WHAT?  There is so much cynicism and bad news drawing me away from that wonderful period of my life, those years of rebirth, of continuing to appreciate what I accomplished and that getting sober IS a worthy achievement–it almost makes me want to start on the wine again, if ONLY for a break from it all, you know?  Now, imagine combining that frustration with alcohol, drugs, and/or HUGE amounts of self-imposed pressure (Spade, Bourdain)?

I don’t know much, really, when it comes to helping people with mental health disorders.  And, frankly, I almost want to say, we are all mentally ill or scarred, in one way or another.  I think the urge to commit suicide–when you get to that crossroads in your mind–is an individual thing, different for every person who reaches that point.  It’s a puzzle, that’s for sure.

I am feeling a bit frustrated (and those thoughts of drinking again, I know, I can’t just let go), so I am going to get back on my mental water wagon–gym, yoga, journaling, and hopefully, starting some contract work again soon (grateful beyond belief that more work is looming, even if said work is “boring”–I have yet to reconcile making money with doing something I truly love; and, making money is the only way to ENABLE those dreams, so…I say yes to the work).  And, hopefully, we will eventually stumble upon a place that offers soul food for my insides, which are starting to feel kind of empty here.  (Starting?  We’ve hated this bland desert wasteland from day one!  LOL  In all seriousness, we just don’t feel at home here, and since it’s coming up on almost 6 months that we’ve been here, and we STILL don’t have a sense of wanting to be here–I think we might just call it, collect our losses, and move on.)

Onward, then, with courage; but turn the noise off if you need to (and even if you don’t)!  Your mental landscape, creativity, and spirit will thank you.  I’m not saying don’t acknowledge and think about what’s going on in the outside world, but be mindful of your inner world–and what it needs, wants, and rests upon.

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4 Responses to “Bad news and your sobriety”

  1. Dana June 20, 2018 at 6:33 am #

    So wonderful, your writings. Yes, we are the ONLY ones able to manage our own happiness. Thus the reason for the massive changes in my own life, and surely in yours. I find it most difficult to stop defending myself regarding my choices as of late (good changes, career changes, life paths, finding my identity), and let people think what they will. My life is only mine to live, not theirs. I recently ran a marathon. While running, instead of comparing myself to other people, and judging who I thought I was faster than, slower than, and beating myself up about it, I repeated this to myself – “That’s her race. That’s his race. This is MY race.” Worked amazingly, and I finished how I wanted, when I wanted and with a smile on my face. Now, why can’t I apply that to my life? Guess I need more practice.

    Write on. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. 🙂

  2. realliferenee June 20, 2018 at 10:28 am #

    I think it is tough to take the weight of the world on, or try to presume why people do what they do and spend time trying to make it make sense. The only thing we can do is take good care of ourselves and do what is presented infront of us for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Laurie Owen June 24, 2018 at 7:47 am #

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog. I just found you through an article about the best alcoholism blogs of 2018. I quit drinking for 9 months last year because my boyfriend got sober. I made some positive changes in my life-went back to teaching, started on my masters. It was a lot. Started drinking the wine again in October and 8 months (and 25 lbs) later, I know I need to quit again. Day 2. Not sure if I want to go back to AA. It wasn’t really my thing. Do you go?

    • Sober Chick June 27, 2018 at 11:48 am #

      If I might reply to your question about AA. I feel too that AA isnt my thing but I will say that is where I started and learned about my alcoholism. AA enabled me to understand myself and why I drink the way I do and also how to stay sober. I dont go to AA anymore for various reasons but I have 2 years sober and I work on my sobriety everyday.Nice post. Thank u so much for sharing this. I’d like to invite u to my blog on God and recovery. Your feedback and comments are welcome. http://www.soberchik211.wordpress.com

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