Monday, January 21, 2013

No Joke

I've been sort of stuck lately. I was chalking it up to having the flu and the cold medicine. Today is the first day in over a week that I've been up at my "regular" time. I am bad a interrupted routines. I'm worse at getting squirreled away into my own head and starting the call to war. "Time to suck...time to're not doing it right...not doing it right..."

It's weird, but now that I'm all in with my sobriety, to me too far to go back now, I think my brain needs something to obsess about. And since I'm going to be finished with this fucking Whole30 (thank you sweet baby Jesus made from a biscuit) on Thursday I feel like my poor self is a little lost. What will I worry over? What makes me working on myself? What makes me special?

I am always starting some new restrictive "diet" or plan. (husband can tell you that) For example: no gluten, or no dairy. Or vegan, or paleo. Macrobiotics. The lists are endless, and the information is too. Today: eat grains. Tomorrow: grains are horrible for you. I have no food allergies. I am often jealous of people who can just eat and not wonder where the meat was raised, or who go to the grocery and pick up a pepper and not check the sticker to make sure it's organic, or look around for local produce. Who just use the creamer that is right there in their coffee instead of always asking for something other than dairy or soy, and then being a little annoyed since it's the regular almond milk not unsweetened. Is it being conscious or crazy? I get a little sick of myself.

People have always thought I ate weird stuff. It's my "thing". You know how we all have one. Like: He only wears flip flops. Even in the winter. Or: She only writes with blue ink. Or: He only wears black t-shirts and jeans. Something that's your "signature move". I have one neighbor that gets it. Everyone else stuffs their children full of Goldfish and candy and looks at me like I have three heads. What will I do when I have no food stuff to fret over? Start wearing black turtlenecks every day?

Because I've decided (gasp!) to give it a rest for a while after this is over. Quitting drinking and starting the Whole30 (two weeks later, what was I thinking? Oh, yeah. I ate fourteen thousand Christmas cookies) taught me something very important. I really don't want to shift my bad relationship with alcohol over to the way I eat. And I want to be aware of my food choices, but not every moment of every day.

But even deeper than that, I don't want to get into attaching myself to another "cause" that prevents me from seeing life day to day. I don't want to hide behind the curtain of another better-me scenario. I think that keeps me from dealing or not dealing with the minutiae. That whole seeing the forest for the trees.

Getting sober and staying sober has been such a gigantic release of distress. I picture myself opening my mouth wide and thousands of birds flying out- an avian worry spew breaking away from me. Every bird a voice that gave me permission to keep lying. But then I get afraid to live inside out and so I flutter my hands around trying to stop them, trying to keep them in. Trying to put myself back in the cage I've always been living in. Back where it's safe.

It's a scary prospect for me: to just live. To take each day as it comes, with no death grip hands on the wheel  muscling it this way and that. Instead to sit back, and enjoy the ride. Giving up control is no joke. But missing out on the nuances of life because I'm too busy trying to make it what I *think* it needs to be isn't so funny either.

p.s. I found the picture after I had the thought about the birds. I love the internet.


  1. you're not broken. you don't need to be fixed. you can be carefree, easy going, you can eat anything or nothing, you can be thin or fat. you can be a night person or a morning person. there's nothing inherently 'right' about either. about any of it.

    you're sober, and you're facing the birds. that is the truly BIG DEAL. the rest is window dressing [IMO].

    1. Not broken. Not by a long shot. Thanks. :)

  2. That is beautiful Amy and the bird image really struck me. I like your introspection and the way you think. I certainly relate to over-thinking things. And I do think that, as much as it's great in many ways to be conscious of our food choices, you need to cut yourself a little slack here lady. Indeed, you're doing the hugest thing right now in getting sober. Give it time before you worry too much about what else you are or aren't putting into your body.

    I think I related to this too because I spent so long obsessively ingesting weed and cigarettes and booze. Then I spent a year obsessed with my need to quit smoking, then with quitting. Then that fell away and I realised I had an alcohol problem and have spent the last 18 months obsessing over the need to quit or trying to quit.

    I was just wondering today - what would it be like to have all that mental energy and anguish freed up? Would I just find something else to obsess/worry over? Or would I be free to focus on other, meaningful, life giving things? We shall see I guess.

    Also, this... thank you sweet baby Jesus made from a biscuit ... made me laugh.

    Lilly x

    1. Thanks Lilly! I want a big painting of that picture for above my bed.

      It's nice to start working for pleasant outcomes isn't it? I think as people we are always going to worry, but I think that we also can control that worry, to not make it the first and foremost but almost an afterthought. Because when you make the right selection for you it becomes a firm decision and not a choice. Then there's no more need for debate. Get that freedom. The ability to make a choice and stand by it. That's hard!