Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Decisions are hard. Maybe.

It has been such a damn thing- me waking up at 5, then going back to sleep unless I have to work. Avoiding all the things I love to do in favor of hiding in bed, or playing Plants vs. Zombies vs. living my real life.

But here I am this morning. So there!to the feeling that makes me want to hide and stay in bed all the live long day under the covers watching the whole second season of "House of Cards" in one sitting. FU.

I did manage a run day before yesterday- hurrah! I was thinking about how much I love running, and then how much I love yoga, and writing. You know, all those things I love but don't cultivate in my life because I am used to hiding. I am most comfortable trying to be as small as possible. Sometimes I think I would rather be alone, in a tiny cabin in the woods with no one around to love or to please, just me being a plant or a zombie all by my lonesome.

Why is the weight I give myself still so heavy?

In group yesterday I spoke about how I don't feel cared for by my husband- how he makes himself kind of an island, and then I feel like I'm left to fend for us all. But, am I really caring for myself? It seems so easy to just spew blame on other people when I am not doing the work of recovery and self care I need to be doing. I'm being my own island. Fuck.

Gah! The hardest part about knowing the good things I need to do for myself is the actual doing of them.

I am in this totally confused spot right now. Like I'm in the middle of a place, and there are all these directions I can go, and so I just stand there paralyzed. Scared. Unable to decide about simple things so I'm having this inner dialogue: "OK, so go ahead and get up to write. Then you can do that 20 minute yoga thing you like, then roll around on the floor and be squishy for a while. Um, oh. Well I feel warm, and comfy....I'll get up in a minute. Get up, come on. I can't. I can't. I want to. I can't. I don't really want to. I really do. No I don't." Once in a while, sure. Every day? I didn't go to yoga on Sunday because I couldn't decide if I wanted to or not.

I don't know. (obviously!) Sometimes I feel like getting sober was supposed to be my gift, my way to stop being so me and start being me. But the longer I am sober, the more I want to avoid me. I still do all the things I hate about myself, I just don't drink. My inability to commit fully to the life I want makes me crazy. I can make lists and plans and then here I am, back to old reliable me. I think about how, if I could just get things going and make habits I would be fine.

I think about how I am just human, and should go with it. It just occurred to me that perhaps if I worried less and just lived it more that maybe things would be more better. How I am totally overthinking things, as usual. How I am addicted to alcohol and over-analyzation. Jeez.

It's like sitting here, trying to write this post, having a terrible case of the should be's: this should be better, longer, not so whiny. I should be happier, thinner, and training for the half marathon I'm supposed to do in April. I should be doing yoga and meditating almost every day. I should write every day. I should take out all the static and hear the noise. I should be better, better, better than the me I am right now.

.......runs screaming from the room......

Ah well. At least I'm moving.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Back Up

I just finished re-reading part of LIT, by Mary Karr. When she's talking about being brave about spirituality and praying I started feeling a little antsy and also intrigued.

Y'all, I want to pray.

Religion is a damn hard thing for me: my own mother thinks God is a joke. She thinks people are fooling themselves to believe that some man in the sky is waving his arms and controlling it all. That religion is a collection of stories made up so rich men get richer and the poor just get religion.

In my own self I am suspicious of myself for thinking about taking spirituality seriously.

But I need it.

This quote got me:

"I've hitchhiked in Mexico and blustered drunk into biker bars all mouthy. Those acts all strike me as more pitiful than brave- the sad bravado of a girl with little to lose."

That was me: I drank so much and the way I did because I had little to lose. Even a husband and children did not seem to be big enough to make me understand that I had worlds to lose. I felt worthless all the time. Unconnected to a thread within myself than made me feel cradled and valued. Worthy.

I'm starting to feel like prayer and the Great Spirit are all part of the puzzle. That I need to feel the higher power that is part of me, not apart from me.

"You don't do it for God! You do it for yourself. All this is for you...the prayer, the meditation, even the service work. I do it for myself, too. I'm not that benevolent."

"How does getting on your knees do anything for you?"

"Janice says, 'It makes you the right size. You do it to teach yourself something. When my disease has a hold of me, it tells me my suffering is special or unique, but it's the same as everybody's. I kneel to put my body in that place, because otherwise, my mind can't grasp it.'"

Yesterday was hard. I ate too many pieces of chocolate and a handful of Girl Scout cookies at 11 PM when I couldn't sleep. I powered down three pieces of deep dish pizza for dinner and made myself feel a little sick. I knew I was off, I knew my sweet self was wobbly and I had no where in me to go.

There is reaching out for help, and then there's being able to reach in for help. I have got to be able to reach in: I am by nature not comfortable sharing my struggles with others. When life is being regular day to day life I need a place in me to touchstone for comfort: a place to say "Here comes the crazy making. Help." I have people I can lean on for support, but I need myself to be part of that group.

And in myself I think there is God. I think that by being able to pray, to lay down burdens and offer gratitude I can continue heal my little to lose self. It comforts me to think that I can get quiet and have a place of my own to go when I feel anxious. It makes me uncomfortable to get all God-y and help me Jesus, but so be it. I'm taking offers of help from all Great Spirits out there- anyone who will listen.

"'Faith is not a feeling,' she says. It's a set of actions. By taking the actions, you demonstrate more faith than somebody who actually has experienced the rewards of prayer and so feels hope. Fake it till you make it. Didn't you fake half your life drinking?'"

"Wouldn't any god be pissed that I only show up now, with machine gun fire on my ass?"

"'First off- can't you see this?- you have a concept of God already. It's one who's pissed at you.'"

I don't feel like God is pissed at me, just indifferent. But in my life I have longed for a savior. But I have always felt that that savior was part of myself: that it could be found in the trees and in a simple kindness. That I didn't have to put on a skirt and get to a building one morning a week to find that savior, but that it is all around me.

And then I sort of snort at myself in my head. Fool.

But it keeps coming up.

It keeps coming back.

Find some religion. Find a spirit. Pray some. Be vulnerable, even when I feel like a fool and want to pretend I don't believe. Find some magic, make it my own.

"'You were saved for something,' she says. Don't die before you find out what. What's your dream for your life?"

"Just pray every day for ninety days and see if your life gets better. Call it a scientific experiment. You might not get the money, but you might find relief from anxiety about money. What do you have to lose?"

And truthfully, I need some back up.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Moving House

I have been wanting to write but moving took up loads of time, and then the internet was working, but not really. And then there was the moving, and then more moving, and then more troubled internet, and then tra-la! A brilliant husband who understands fixing internet stuff and a just-enough-to-trap-us snow/ice storm hit yesterday and all I've got is time!

Moving was a great reminder of how well I can handle things now that I'm sober. (I sang 'sober' in a little sing songy voice in my head.) We moved for five days- getting our things here, cleaning things there- it was a chore. The children fried their brains on video games and ran around in the big new backyard while we stacked firewood. My husband and I did not fight one single time: we each had an "I want to strangle him/her" moment on the fourth day, but did not blaze and swear at one another. We just kept right on going.

None of this would have ever happened so gracefully if I was still drinking. Picture drinking me stressed out and hungover trying to accomplish a feat requiring infinite patience and patience, and then more patience. I think walking on water might be easier than being that.

It was difficult, but in a kind of good way.

Instead of drinking and being hungover and stressed and then drinking more because I'm stressed and then more hangover culminating into a quadruple double hangover by the fifth day I had a lot of bengal tea and nice snacks. I am taking my time putting things away- stowing things in the attic in labeled boxes, putting things where they go rather than just shoving them into hiding places because I feel like ass crap.

I do that on the regular now though. Taking my time that is. Understanding that when I feel, need, or want something that it may take some time for it to untangle itself and be resolved. By regular I might mean about 47% of the time, but that's a vast improvement over the frantic woman I was, always straining for the finish line and not paying attention to what was going on around me. I can clearly remember the feeling of just wanting the day to be over for chrissakes. That's why I would have my first glass of wine around five o'clock: it signaled that the day was over and I was free to be finished and finished. And in a strange way it was a way to say, "Oh, well. I didn't quit drinking today. But there's always tomorrow." So it was like hopeless and hope full all at one time.

This house doesn't have any of me drinking in it. When I look at the back porch I don't automatically think of the flower pot overflowing with wet cigarette butts, of me out there slowly drinking my life away while my little boys slept upstairs. The kitchen is just our new kitchen- not where I made big glasses of wine and seltzer while pretending to cook dinner but really just boiling water for an hour while I went back and forth outside to smoke. This neighborhood isn't where I drank myself silly with my neighbors and then woke up to wonder if I'd made an ass of myself. I won't be herding the kids out to the car to make a quick trip to the store for a coke but I really just need wine.

That woman doesn't live here.

I'm still prone to outbursts of impatience that are sort of *ahem* over the top? I'm still me, but a clearer version of it. I still like pretty much all the same stuff, except for all the booze I used to adore and hate all at once. It's strange to think of myself in a house where I don't have any drinking history. It's comforting to know that here, in this new place, I won't wake up wincing and hungover wishing for more sleep and better willpower.

I have moved my life so much in this past year and some. Now there's a new location to go with it. A house that already feels like home. It feels so safe here without the booze specter rattling chains and moaning about. I am able to feel the regular feels of moving: where am I, excitement, nervous, unsettled, grateful. I am able to handle something big without booze. What a relief.

What a welcome home.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Opt Out

This morning I opened my email and slogged through all the unnecessary stuff I delete every day without reading it. All of the sudden I realized- Heyyyyyyyy......I can unsubscribe. I can clean up my in box and not spend time every day wondering about these random emails that I never open, or intend to open later, or just delete instantly.

My inbox is like my life. Our impending move has given me invitation to reflect about my time here in this house. The first few years in this town. It's made me think about how much I have changed in almost two and a half years. The bulk of it in this past year alone.

Wow! I have done some big ass self-house cleaning. I did spring ones and fall ones and daily ones and unplanned ones. I have slowly but surely been getting my inner space in order. It gives me such a feeling of contentment to look back and realize this progress. I encourage you, no matter where you are, to think back on the days you've spent minding your self.

I've been thinking about what makes it work- what makes things actually cleaned up and not just shoved under the rug.

Being honest with myself has been the hugest biggest hugest thing that has really gotten things going. At the very beginning of my sobriety: "Am I really an alcoholic?" "YES!!!!" And then "Am I really this sad?" "YES!!!" followed by "Am I really afraid of that? And this?" "YES!!!" The inside honest made it easier to take: "Is there hope for me?" "YES!!!" and "Am I doing this right?" "DOUBLE YES!!!"

All that yes didn't come without no. "Can I continue to use cookies to get me through the rough stuff?" "NO."  "Can I please take the easy way out today?" "NO." "Is it ok for me to take my shit out on other people?" "NO WAY." "Can I drink again?" "TRIPLE NO WAY EVER!"

I'm towards the end of a Whole30. It's reminded me of the tied for number one thing that has helped me get things really deep clean: boundaries. Rules. Things I say yes or no to no matter what. Guidelines I follow every day that don't change on whims and winds. When my inner spoiled brat pipes up and says "Quit. Right now. This is RIDICULOUS!" I have these inner laws that when broken have consequences. (Oh, hello there consequences- we barely know each other huh?) When I break my laws I pay for it. And because of that honesty I damn well know it, too.

Another thing I did was opt out of going to a race with my husband today. It was two hours away, then he runs, then we drive two hours back. Kind of boring for the kids, I have other things I could do for me. Not going made me feel guilty, like he was sad we weren't going. So I asked, "Are you sad? Do you want us to go?" He said, "No! It's OK if you don't go!" So there's a third thing that keeps my house clean: believe what people tell you. I have a horrid habit of scurrying around in my brain trying to eek out what people are really thinking. Or maybe they are saying what they are really thinking and I am just trying to make them say what I'm thinking.

My brain works so hard.

So instead of standing out in the cold with the kiddos while my husband runs up a mountain I'm blogging. And boxing things up. Doing some yoga. (Oh! My new place I've been going! OH!) I'm making myself do things when my brain says don't. And doing things different when my brain feels uncomfortable and like I am being totally rude. I am unsubscribing to all the junk mail that clogs my inner in box. It's just as easy as opting out.