There definitely is something to be said about the beginnings of something. Especially in this world we are living in right now, as technology actually is making time seem shorter. Can you believe that? The other day I realized how it was September, when I seriously felt like I’d been in a coma and just woken up, months down the line. How on earth could it be September? The winter just ended. I was just getting ready for Summer! Aieee!
So I looked back on some pictures and saw well, after all, I had been alive for the last several months and up and about, I didn’t have amnesia, but it was very much this blurry foggy feeling. This feeling is prevalent in my life unfortunately, but it has really been getting less pronounced since stopping drinking. Meaning, I sort of “come to” at different times and realize, hey, I’m not slurring my words, I’m not reaching for something or someone, I’m just here and also at times, that I’m looking at someone and my gaze feels steady and intense, when I wasn’t even thinking about it.
A few months ago, one of the things that helped me pick myself up off the floor again and start putting one step ahead of the other, was a short conversation I had with a sheriff deputy at the gym. He is probably in his mid-twenties, a solid type of person, steady blue eyed gaze. I was talking with him about feeling exhausted with the strength workouts and he was saying how he had been doing more circuit low weight workouts, to give his joints a rest and the importance of doing that. And I realized his eyes were very steady but mine felt like they were jumping in my head and I felt dirty and ashamed, was thinking about the alcohol I’d had the night before and thought how I simply didn’t deserve to be possibly perceived as a drinker or a whiner or an irresponsible gym-goer. Because I am a whiner, but I do the thing anyways. And I am definitely not an irresponsible power-builder. But mainly, because I’d done so much work to not drink and improve my life and evolve, since August 2015, I couldn’t bear the reality that I was drinking again, despite all the work I’d done before that. And talking to a police-man type of person, made me feel like he was able to stare into my heart of hearts and call me out as the contradictory sack that I was. Since police men types have this ability to so often make people nervous enough to tell the truth or want to seem less pathetic or shame them or something….my dad was a State Trooper and it’s a legit thing for me.
So I realized how my eyes were jumping around and how that just wasn’t me damn it! Drank again that night and then the next night, which I talked about in the Go….Stop post and that conversation, amoungst other sources of shame and disappointment in myself got me on the path that I am on now.
So that was 2 months ago and I’m doing well with the alcohol sobriety side of things. I feel better in general, my sleep is still messed up and I am still fatigued, but drinking would only add to that crap. Books, music and movies have taken on a real noticable gleam. I was downloading samples into my Kindle app and realized how interesting many things had become, topics I wouldn’t have spent much time on before and would have just glazed over and not given a proper chance. Because the topic was harder maybe or I was just not there before. Smells are so much more intense – I was standing in the spice aisle at a natural food place and repeatedly sniffing the lavender and the 5 spice bulk jars like wowwwwww you check that out?…….I look better. I’m so glad I’m not torturing my body like that, drinking is so yesterday. I fully agree that “drinking is basic AF”, like Jessica James proclaimed so rightly. And it’s so boring. I mean, guys? It’s SO BORING.
I am also fully aware of and agree with the fact that alcohol only makes things worse. It makes nothing better. It would make my anxiety, depression, shame, disappointment, weight, stuckedness, stagnation, fatigue – all way worse. Alcohol has absolutely no redeeming qualities, it is pointless. And I have on many occassions reflected on how I never actually enjoyed drinking. It was always repetitive, I felt real sick real quick, I don’t like feeling or being out of control or embarassing. Numbness is no fun and I can’t drive or walk or read or do anything the rest of the day/night and that sucks. Plus all those dangerous situations/ awful men I paid attention to? Shudder….And so on.
If I want to check out of my life for a little while, which we all do and I don’t see why it’s the biggest no-no really, then there are other things I can do that won’t make me feel this sinking of spirit and queasiness encircled by a thick band of never enoughedness.
I can meditate, chant, exercise, stare at the clouds, count numbers in my head, think of something funny or a vacation, read on my phone, read an actual book, knit a hat, watch Mad Men, eat ice cream, eat a protein filled salad, clean outside, clean inside, check out a sobriety memoir of blog or podcast, all 3 at once!..get back into Duolingo…Just feel/write it out…let the words come through and onto the page so I can realize what the heck I’m thinking about….
My larger point with all of this was (supposed to be) how the newness of a program/diet/exercise regime/ remodel/hairstyle/class/move/relationship – can all be so energizing. There is a definite positive flow to the beginnings…then perhaps a plateau occurs. It can be an energy plateau, interest plateau, whatever. Then sometimes the “thing” just fizzles out….without attention, the seedling withers and dies. It becomes a “have to do” thing in the background, then it becomes something unnoticeable, but I can feel it’s presence, a waiting. Sometimes I go back to it, sometimes I don’t. But the echoes of my time with it exist still.
But certainly, there are things that are kept at the forefront for longer, they reap more rewards, they offer more visible returns and going back to the way it was “before” is not an option or desire. So it takes work. It also takes refreshing. Somehow, it has to be refreshed, so that it stays on point. I guess that’s inherent to the work. Like if I was a mail man, I wouldn’t stop delivering the mail and then go back to it. Nor do I deliver the same envelopes day after day, they are new envelopes, new boxes, sometimes more sometimes less, sometimes red cards, sometimes yellow.
The maintenance portion of anything, can be hard. Because it’s neither here nor there…you’re not seeing your 6 pack for the first time even, nor are you wearing baggy sweats to your first gym workout in years. You’re just going through the motions. And often, I see where the emotional triggers can spring. As if my brain was trying to kick together some drama for me to focus on, something that needs fixing. Because if it needs fixing then that means conversation, possibly the chance to seem superior, possibly another beginning! Oooohh goody, I like beginnings! I’m mad and sad but I’m glad because I’m not bored and I can blame YOU and the WORLD and I have to MOVE OUT….and that’s how it can go….
I’m not trying to excuse other people from being asses, but I do need to see where my reflexive behavior, cycles and habits lay so that I can cut that shit out. I don’t need NEW I need to maintain what I already have. PROPERLY. OVER TIME.
Plus, though it always feels momentarily easier while trying to kick together some nice drama to beat a plateau and to just be like “poor me” “no one cares” I never get a rest from anything” “everyone sucks” “nothing is good HERE you don’t APPRECIATE ME”, in the long term it definitely feels better to not pull on that emotional trigger.
As in, every time I get really mad or sad or volatile, it takes me a lot more time to get out of it than it did for me to fall into it in the first place. Just like drinking again would, which I am not willing to do to myself.
So I am confident with myself in some ways, I am happy to be living my life this way, I look forward to remaining sober and working on my emotional sobriety. I am looking forward to fall and am going to really “do fall”. I am feeling better about my weight and food choices and am able to look at myself in the mirror. I have done just that a few times recently and been like ” Oh! Well I look better. My eyes look clearer…huh….my skin looks good….” It’s a start.