Tag Archives: foggy-brained

“Happily ever after”

23 Feb

12:46 pm

And, it’s been a week since I last posted–gah!

First, the good news: I am sober. And, we all know that that three-word sentence holds SO much good. Enough said.

Second, I have my life, and my working limbs, and no cavities, and relatively awesome health. I am calmer and happier than I’ve been in, like, ever. I am sitting at my part-time job right now, which is at the ferry terminal; and while others are too proud to beg, I sure ain’t. (I get paid $10/hour, but all I “have” to do, at this point, is exist and be friendly to strangers who come up and talk to me–done and done!)

All that being said, Jesus Fuck, I wanted to drink last night. I was agitated, and foggy-brained. Not sure which comes first, or if I can actually DO something to prevent this deadly state-of-mind. But, I got through it–thank God(dess). I wrote (pounded; I have no markings left on my “n” and “m” keys, which is curious because there aren’t many swear words that start with these letters) out all my bad feelings into my journal, and about an hour later, I was feeling better. And, this morning? SUPER-glad I didn’t drink. I would have gotten even more foggy-brained, and today, I would have been hungover and I would probably still be wondering who let Satan invent fermented grapes.

I do, however, see a 9-to-5 in my future. I mean, ultimately I can’t seem to grasp exactly how writers can keep up the freelance thing without a full-time (or at least, 3/4-time) job “on the side.” I don’t think many do, for practicality’s sake, but also, for sanity. Stay calm, I tell myself in the morning, and in the evening: you will somehow find the money for next month’s bills, you will somehow muster the energy for yet another pitch…for which story, if assigned, you will make a tenth of what you’re worth–but hey, who’s counting pennies? Yes, I’d be remiss not to admit that this makes my stomach boil, in a way. Two Ivy League degrees–one in the life sciences, no doubt–and I’m working a part-time job for $10 an hour so that I can be able to afford to do journalism? As one colleague of mine put it: journalism, the last “luxury” profession. It’s just…maddening…and, yes, it REALLY makes me want to drink. Like, every second of every day. It’s just another thing, I guess, that I fight against, along with the normal mood swings/cravings that come and go.

But, I can change things, and I have to remember that. And, all these things I’m worrying about, eh, they probably won’t add up to much anyway when the time comes to do the adding. Like, OK, I spent a year of my life not making that much money, living in the middle of the ocean. So? And? All this is to say, tomorrow–in the form of next week or next month or next year–will come, and I likely won’t even remember what I was worried about not having, or losing.

I’ve been feeling somewhat down lately, so forgive if this post screams dragging, or tired, or bothered. Or just UNDERPAID. I also haven’t been feeling well; and, it bothers me, like it would anyone. I mean, Google is the devil digital-incarnate when it comes to figuring out what’s wrong with you. I’ve determined I’m either dying of cervical cancer, or have lupus. Right. Dr. Drunky Drunk Girl and her assistant, Nurse Google. Maybe it’s nothing? The most frustrating thing is not knowing; a close second might be, not having any control either way–to the extent that you can take care of your health, you do, and beyond that, you don’t have that much say in the matter.

Yes, I really wanted to drink last night. I just felt…sad, or something. Sad about it all. Sad that I don’t feel well. Sad that I am pushing a boulder uphill. Like Sisyphus.

Which brings my wandering mind to my brother’s wedding in May. But, of course! You know how people get married and then, for some reason, expect their lives to be radically different somehow because they have a piece of paper that says “married?” Yeah, I never got it either. “Happily ever after”…what? It seems the same with sobriety: there is no happily ever after. You just keep doing life, albeit sober instead of drunk. YES, I handle things better–probably a lot better than I’m giving myself credit for today–but I still get agitated, I still ruminate, I still don’t want to socialize and then end up feeling alone. I still get stressed about work, and I still drag my feet when it comes to making decisions about pretty much everything important. I still feel depressed, or, slightly down a lot of the time. (Thinking of myself as Sisyphus is probably something I should stop doing if I want to not feel slightly down a lot of time, methinks.)

As my year approaches (in three weeks), I am definitely wondering about all this navel-gazing that Getting Sober brings (instead of simply quitting drinking, or cutting back). Do NOT get me wrong: I SO don’t miss being hung over, and doing and saying horrible things while drunk. Duh. However, I have to admit, I do miss the “fun” me; and, honestly, the sober me is well, sobering. And, she’s beginning to be quite a downer. I think back longingly to my late 20s-self–where is she? I miss that girl.

I know what I have now, though–who I am–is stronger, and more settled, and more emotionally adept at handling life. I know that I’m a much improved version of myself. Yet, I miss something…and I’m not sure if it’s related to me getting older, me getting sober, me not really feeling stimulated in my life down here, or what. Puzzles; it’s a good thing I have the patience for them.

Anyway, signing off for now. Chittering insects (my mind, reference to the closed captioning on ‘The Walking Dead,” anyone?). Hope everyone is doing OK. I, for one, have about 10 blog posts that I started and have yet to share. This week!

Oh, and thank you for letting me vent! I feel so much better. Smiling. You guys rock. And I don’t care who says what, even IF I don’t know what you look like and have never heard your voices (except for Belle), I can’t imagine having come this far without you. 🙂

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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!

Diet Coke is more addictive than wine!

27 Jul

3:40 pm

I held out as long as I could, but after two whole days without Diet Coke–and almost both days of being as sugar-free as possible–I just cracked open a can. I’m already feeling a bit better after a few sips, and *finally* starting my day: typing this, then going for a run, then working on other stuff (I took yesterday off, so today is a “work day”). I mean, there was no way I could ingest the large amounts of science news and information I need to the way I was feeling.

Over the past few hours, my symptoms peaked: foggy-brained and really lethargic, with this sensation that I’m at the bottom of a hill on my bike. I also feel dizzy and a bit nervous, but I think that’s psychosomatic (i.e., what’s going to happen next?). Ugh. Way worse than the supposed alcohol withdrawal symptoms I had, which mainly consisted of mental urges to drink accompanied by benign symptoms like insomnia and a low-grade “flu.” Maybe it’s something else, this seemingly-recurring dizziness, and unrelated to whether or not I drink DC. I’m not sure, but I do feel better, even just marginally. Which is all I needed, I guess.

This, my friends, sucks. Sugar addiction is serious and should NOT be taken lightly. This whole eat-a-cookie-when-you-want-to-drink mentality? NOT! I hate to say it, but addiction treatment and recovery REALLY, TRULY needs to become more evidence-based (as in, evidence-based medicine). No more wives’ tales, please.

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