Tag: sobriety sucks

90 Reasons not to Drink for 90 Days: #17

stefon

#17 Reason not to drink: so I don’t end up like my Grandma Maryalice

I remember when I visited her in Florida by myself when I was 10 years old.  We ended up traveling with my Grandfather up to Wisconsin and I have already shared with you all the infamous meat-eating misadventure and the follow-up to that a few years later with the Pork incident.  She was a mean son of a bitch!  But I’m remembering having arrived in her condo all wide-eyed hippie child excited to be away from my parents and siblings and ready for adventure.  There was a hurricane going on, as happens in Florida, and though I’m sure it was unimpressive by Floridian standards, the palm trees outside her condo were bent almost in half and brushing at the windows.  I was impressed and increasingly more scared as the evening wore on and I had nothing to do but notice the hurricane trying to get at my bones.  You don’t show fear to people like Maryalice.  I remember her pouring drink after drink of the hard stuff and cajoling me for being afraid.  I just realized that I can’t remember her smoking but the condo must have been thick with her cigarette smoke because she smoked a ton and didn’t believe in fresh air.  I felt spectacularly unsafe with this slurring adult inside and nature acting just as drunk outside.

Her teeth, when she got up in your face with a scowl, were pretty scary.

My grandma Maryalice was a very unhappy person and she enjoyed taking it out on other people.  As you can imagine, I have no fond memories of her, much as I wish I did.  Her smoking got to her before her drinking did and she died relatively young of emphysema but I gotta tell you, I’m pretty sure her liver was done-for too.  I haven’t gotten close to her level of drinking so far, which is why she’s tonight’s reason for not drinking.  I never want alcohol to get in the way of my ability to comfort scared children or be the cause of delivering bitter misery to the people who love me.  Alcohol is to enhance experiences in life, not drive them.

*****

I’m feeling a little better today (hello mood swings).  Thank you all for listening to me and being there for me.  Today I started tackling something I’ve put off for a while because I couldn’t deal with it even though I knew I needed to.  There haven’t been too many times in my life where I have been in a situation that forces me to choose between being silent or doing the right thing.  I always say that I’m the kind of person who does the right thing, even if there are personal consequences to me.  Life has decided to call my bluff.  I’m sorry that I can’t give any details – you know I normally disclose everything freely – but I just want to report that I’m following through.  I’m doing it because I can and others can’t.  I’m doing it because saying “no” to wrongs when we encounter them is the only way we keep the good in balance with the bad.

Mostly I just have to fill out some annoying forms, so nothing heroic or anything.

I feel like I’ve honored my character and my beliefs today.

Now it’s time to watch Criminal Minds and drink some decaf black tea.

90 Reasons for not Drinking for 90 Days: #16

the sentinels

#16 Reason not to Drink: because it’s never going to be better than this in my head

I just wrote a bunch and realized that all I was doing was trying to explain why everyone is WRONG.  I am kicking and screaming inside myself today and after trying to talk it out with people, explain it, and share it, I feel really alone with it.  What I’ve come to realize today is that I’ve slowly been returning to how I was before I started medicating myself with alcohol.  I had almost forgotten what it felt like.  It feels like having an amplifier strapped to my head belting out discordant noise on the highest volume plus one.  It feels like when you step in a big wet pile of shit so deep your feet sink and excrement gets inside your shoe and makes it wet.

I was just talking to Philip – talking a mile a minute.  He commented how I used to be like that all the time before medication.  It’s true.

I’m angry that I have mental illness.  I want to punch something I feel so angry about it.   Unless I decide to take sedatives in place of drinking therapeutic amounts of alcohol, this is as good as it gets in my head.

I liked being mellower.  I liked having more quiet in my head.  I loved that in the evening when drinking beer my mind would grow peaceful and I could actually breathe slowly and shrug the world off my shoulders.  I’m grieving for the loss of my sedated self who was so much better, calmer, less irritable, patient, and easy-going.  (Relative to how I am when not sedated)  It’s not about other people liking or not liking me more.  It’s about having to live with myself and how much easier it is to live with myself under sedation.

One thing I can say is that no matter what medications I’m on or not one, no matter what chemicals I am under the influence of or not – I am always completely myself.  It’s just a question of whether I’m operating at full strength, half strength, or quarter strength.

Full strength Angelina will yell at you for touching her things, talks incessantly, has to stay up writing and/or reading until 3am every night just to get enough stuff out of her head so she can sleep, is a danger to herself, writes notes to cockroaches, loses her shit when her husband comes home an hour late from work, snaps everyone’s head off pretty much over nothing, will move to Vermont to avoid an earthquake, and goes through dark periods when taking out the trash is pretty much the same as building building a fighter jet as far as how much energy it takes to get it done.

Half strength Angelina doesn’t mind if you touch her stuff as long as you don’t lose it, can express her anxiety about husband coming home late without completely losing her shit, doesn’t have the urge to hurt herself as often, can pass for normal(ish), can use CBT to deal with all the possible ways she could die, can ignore the sound of people breathing more often than it makes her want to scream, can recover from over-stimulation in less than two days, can curb a panic attack most of the time before passing out from hyperventilation, can converse with most people without giving them headaches.

Quarter strength Angelina can shrug off much idiocy, can summon the strength to let pass many golden opportunities to argue with people, can socialize in groups larger than 3 without feeling strung out within five minutes, can face the apocalypse with relative equanimity, doesn’t hate balloons and FUN half as much as half strength Angelina does, can go to unfamiliar places without a week’s worth of coaching beforehand, never has the urge to hurt herself, can sit through two hours of American Dad and not look bored, invites you use her stuff and never gets mad if you break it.

Quarter strength Angelina is just your regular semi-neurotic quirky person.  I like feeling almost normal, almost like a lot of other people.  Able to mix and mingle and not make an entire room of people uncomfortable with one macabre observation.

It makes me angry that there is no socially acceptable way for me to live like people who don’t have mental illness.  I’m angry and depressed and grieving about it.

I’m not drinking tonight because this is as good as it gets in my head and the sooner I accept it, the better.

90 Reasons not to Drink for 90 days: #5 and #6

garden hat 1

Reason #5 for not drinking for 90 days: less recycling

Our recycling bin seems to have a bottomless pit when it’s empty.  It’s difficult to imagine having enough stuff to fill it up.  Yet we frequently filled it to capacity with 50% of it comprised of beer bottles.  It’s a relief to create less bottle waste.

Reason #6 for not drinking for 90 days: for the love of hats

I am a hat wearer.  I love them and I used to look great in them until my head got fat.  That’s right.  When you get really fat your head circumference grows right along with the rest of you – even before you can see it in your face.  I can no longer wear my favorite hat (the dirty 12 year old paper hat you see above) and it really bothers me.  It is very hard for me to find hats that work for me now aside from my berets.  There was only one hat left that I could wear on my fat head and still look good in, and my dog ate it 4 years ago.  Not drinking today means getting one step closer to being able to wear hats again.