For some reason, I got it in my head that I was only allowed to write here if I was staying sober. I guess that’s because it started out as my sobriety journal. But this is supposed to be a journal for me, for my thoughts, for my progression. I wish it wasn’t so easy for me to forget that and always wonder what other people will think when they read it.
I had a rough day today, another Day One. I started out this morning angry as all hell and posted about it here. Deleted it 20 minutes later. It’s still in the RSS so I can go back and see it, but I didn’t want certain people to stumble across it and get hurt. Besides, I know that my anger, and the chemicals still floating in my brain, blind me and I would feel differently later. And I was right. I am not raging at my friends tonight. As a matter of fact, the universe sent me a reminder why I shouldn’t be, right around lunchtime, and I had to laugh.
But I was no better off today than I was back in March, the day after I had my nervous breakdown. My mind and my emotions were all over the place. They still are, by the looks of this rambling I’m doing. I just want this time to be “it.” I can’t live like this any more. With distorted thinking, distorted perceptions, not trusting my own judgment, feeling crazy and sad and angry and lost.
I am no longer going to question my alcoholism. I will no longer try to control it simply because I have a spiritual belief that we create our lives, that we are in control. This is different. Alcoholism is different.
I will no longer allow Steve to enable me. I get the meaning of that word from my childhood now more than ever. He didn’t mean to, and believe me, I need to remind myself of that lest I resent him for a false reason. I am just a very powerful force and my words are very convincing. So I need to stay brutally honest with him because in doing so I think he has finally started to understand what this really means. And I will allow him to help me, to help hold me up when I need it. Because sometimes I really, really need it. I don’t mean to “fix” me but just be… a leaning post. I walk in tense solitude too often and forget I have a safe and loving person to hold me if I need him to.
I will also no longer worry about whether or not some of my friends think I am weak or think I am being silly or overly dramatic about my drinking (and no, these are not friends who drink). I don’t know if some of them are, but it seems that way in my head, and that’s all that matters because it affects my judgment. But I can’t let those thoughts do that to me. I need to trust that I know what is right and wrong in my life and alcohol is so very wrong.
Save for the 9 weeks I stayed sober from March to May, I’ve been drunk nearly every night for 6 years straight. On a typical night of drinking, I would have 5 shots of vodka and a beer. Enough to feel pretty trashed. I would wake up every day exhausted and in emotional pain, dragging myself to work, wondering why I did it again.
Sometimes, usually on Fridays, it was more. The aftermath of those nights were the Saturdays I would wake up at 8:00 a.m., wondering for a moment how I got in bed, if I had eaten, who I had called on the phone and talked to death. The thoughts in my head running the gamut from “I’m stupid” to “Never again” to “I hate myself.” Over and over and over. For years on end. I have destroyed my self-esteem and my own inner peace that I worked so hard for back in 2005, 2006. It absolutely kills me that I let that slip away from me. That I let music slip away, and reading, and so many other things I used to love.
I cannot moderate, I cannot bargain with myself. It doesn’t work. I have to be starkly honest with myself, whether sober for a day or 10,000 days that, for me, it doesn’t work.
My friend Rebecca once said to me “I love you, with or without the alcohol. But I think you deserve the life without it.” And I know she’s right. Deep inside, I still believe this. I don’t hate myself. I am still the optimistic, spiritual, joyous, thoughtful young person I always was. I am strong. I am a wonderful woman. And I do deserve better.
So why have I kept drinking? That’s the long-running mystery of it, I guess. The nature of the addiction beast. Knowing that when I am sober, I am happy and patient and kind, not only with others, but with myself… that when I am sober, I don’t feel so crazy, my head is quiet, my thoughts are rational… that my optimism is present in full force… yet still drinking every night anyway? Well, as my friend Jen said this morning, addiction doesn’t like logic. Word.
Just putting all this down for tonight as another good honest start. I am mentally shaky tonight, but I know tomorrow will be better and brighter and clearer. And the day after that and so forth. I will simply take each day as it comes.