I’ve seen many posts re: word of the year. I used to do that, too, and in a way, I guess “phrase” is akin to “word”.
Move the earth. Or, move the earth, beyotches. This is my phrase of the year.
2017. It does have an ominous, heavy feel to it. Maybe because it’s closer to “20” than “15” or even “10”. Maybe it’s because I know what lies ahead: digging in, pushing out, molding form out of lumps of wet clay. Focus, and effort. And: sweet, sweet smells of dirt, of salty earth, of pepper and fire and flint–steely eyes, steeled tongue. I do not give any fucks anymore–in a good way. 😉
I’ve spent 18 months at a nearly-intolerable job in order to make money, essentially. I feel like I’ve been PREPARING and PLANNING for a long time, and that includes, thinking about and writing about getting sober. I won’t stop doing that–it seems, IS, as much a part of staying sober as any of my well-worn coping mechanisms. BUT, I can officially say that I want something more. Else. Different. New.
(Mind you, I also made my science journalism about writing about addiction, too, for a while, so maybe I’m just burnt out. Sometimes I think, if I never have to write one more fucking word in my life, I will be the happiest girl alive. And then I come back to reality: I am a writer, I am compelled to write. And I miss it terribly when I don’t write; I can’t even live my life when I don’t process it via the written word! So, I let that thought go and try to embrace the grey area, so to speak–something that becomes more challenging the more I want to make real change instead of waiting, wanting, working toward something that is coming, in due time, if I just keep plugging.)
Last year at this time, I was in a world of hurt. Glad that hell is over. Yes, I made good money and have since continued working (remotely) for that company, but man, was I depressed last year. No more. Done. I made it through. Happy to NOT be there, and to be here. Much has transpired between then and now that has helped me get happy again: I moved home (I am much more myself in a tropical than desert climate); I worked as a barista, which I really loved; we got engaged in May; we traveled a lot this year (New Orleans was my favorite!); I paid off my graduate student loans; I got into running more (I have somehow managed to keep off those 15 pounds for 2.5 years).
One big thing I want to mention is that I started taking hormones by way of the pill! Imagine: at 42, I am taking the pill for the first time. Haha. It’s worth mentioning because, I have ZERO PMS craziness anymore. It’s awesome. MANY of my worst drinking binges happened around or because of my fluctuating hormones–many women who drink can probably say that, they, too, drank when they were PMSing. No one talks about that, of course, but look, it can be as simple as taking birth control, or, I guess if you’re older, actual hormone replacement therapy–to feel way better, to NOT feel crazy, to not feel angry, or depressed, or like you want to down oceans of wine for two weeks out of the month. Not to mention, the hangovers are from SATAN when your body is not really processing booze well, which (ironically) is what’s happening around this time o’ the month. (More on this for another post, methinks.)
Anyway, I feel stronger now, and I think I’m simply ready to start thinking about other stuff more of the time. I mean, I will always blog here, that’s a given. That I can’t let go. I would love to wake up, however, and not have this feeling of, I have to think about sobriety. I have to relate things I do now, in my present life, with my having gotten sober. I DO, constantly, because it is all intertwined; I just wish there was a way I could both appreciate the past without having to think at all about it. I’m grateful, though, and it’s just a matter of perspective when it comes to “ruminating” on getting sober, and being sober.
I need to get out more, too. I quit the coffee shop job back in September, and it has been rough. I am SO tired of these four walls, you know? And, I’m getting kind of irritable. Maybe, mean. Like, cynical. I need connection, we all do. I’m on day 5 of a Facebook fast, and I feel like I like people more–what I get now from interactions is real, it’s authentic.
I admit: I have felt lonely since not logging into Facebook. Like, there’s no reason to go on my phone! Haha. BUT, I’m slowing down and opening up to the people and places around me; and I’m gaining a little bit of mental patience. I can take things in that used to annoy me because they were too slow, not enough, immediately boring. I felt…controlled by Facebook, and that felt very much like being addicted to binge drinking. Now, I feel better, freer. It’s good. Despite feeling truly out of it, and lonely, I’m going to keep going. (I really miss “on this day”, though…)
As for wanting to drink? Well, I have to admit that on New Year’s Eve, as I was remembering other NYEs–when I was single, granted, and was going on all these crazy, “life experience”-type trips to far-flung places for the holidays–I felt staid. Boring. Not lacking in contentment, but sort of unhappy. Vexed. Fear of missing out was an actual, I am missing out. I am not learning, or growing, or expanding my horizons!
Drinking won’t bring back the “life-changing” experiences that were INVARIABLY RUINED anyway by the time New Year’s Day rolled around in said far-flung places. I know that drinking isn’t the answer, and cannot be: it doesn’t work and hasn’t for years. I know that what’s simmering in the pot will come together into a lump of…something good to eat, soon. Yes, it still comes and goes, this desire to drink to fix, or transfer, or be reborn. None of that happens, and never did, and never will. It was fun, looking back–but, I’m here now, and pretty content, actually.
This year will still be about plugging away, and working, but also, finally starting to do stuff, you know? After all this obligatory preparatory work–laying the groundwork-work, doing this before moving on-work–it will pay off. Move the earth, beyotches! 🙂