Welcome to my World

Where else can you get a really good look at a train wreck of emotional dysfunction
and not be right in the middle of the thing?


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stray Thoughts

I routinely, randomly think about harming myself.  "Passive suicidal ideation" is the technical term.  Mostly it's because I tire of hassling with my mood.  I'm wearied with what seems like the constant struggle to get through my day and take care of the obligations of semi-responsible adulthood, only to wonder, when the day winds down, what I've gained or why I've bothered.  Life holds no intrinsic value for me, though I realize this isn't the perspective of most people.  The idea that one should be pleased solely because one is alive is alien to me; I usually feel the reverse.
 
I've tried to hurt myself seriously twice in my life, and I barely survived the second attempt well over a decade ago.  However, I really don't think I'm at any risk for another attempt.  While I might not think much of life, I have a well-developed fear of pain, the experience of death and the unknown.  I actually believe I've been more sanguine as I've stayed sober and made other positive changes.  (Contrary to my attitude here.)  But then it's often hard for me to have perspective when it comes to my moods.  I think I'm just in a low arc of the seemingly ever-present shadow of P.A.W.SBut maybe someday...
 
Personal Roundup
 
In spite of all my gloom & doom, I've been doing fairly well.  As of my last weighing, I've lost a total of 11 pounds during this push of diet and exercise, although I made the mistake of calculating my BMI.  I still have to lose 27 more pounds to go from obese to just fat.
 
Days sober: 7 months, 17 days
Weight: 242 pounds
Debt: Still don't want to think about it...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yesterday Was Too Late

When you say it's going to happen "now"
Well, when exactly do you mean?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone
{The Smiths, "How Soon Is Now?"}

Waiting has been a theme for most of my life, the life that passed me by as I made plans for when my unrealistic pipe dreams came true.  Now, of course, I'm simply waiting for my outlook to look rosier and to reap the alleged rewards of self-discipline.  And I have to wonder if that will ever happen either.  It's so easy for depressives to believe that everyone sees the world as we do with its weariness and dreariness and that the world will be forever colored so grey.

Every day I get up and drag myself through the grind without pleasure or passion, only "this is what I must do."  I foolishly yet religiously play the lottery twice a week, believing that nothing but cataclysmic dumb luck could transform my life into a palatable existence.  And every day I worship at the altar of my own personal monomyth of the Ascended Man if only...  If only I keep sober...  If only I exercise...  If only I eat right...  If only I spend well...  If only I force myself through my daily toil...  If only, if only, if only...  If only Meaning and Purpose (and even Love) weren't illusions of the neocortexevolutionary adaptations, just to eventually be ground down themselves by the inexorable march of time and death.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Feeling Discouraged

I've been doing the best that I can with my caloric intake while really pushing myself at the gym, so I feel as if I should look better than I do.  But then eating "treats" and rich take-out is one of the few avenues I have left to me to buoy my mood and my sobriety, even if it ends up tanking my budget and my diet.  Short of becoming an anorexic ascetic, which would last all of five minutes and inevitably end very badly, what can I do but keep trying through the frustration of my lack of visible progress?
 
How I see myself in my head most of the time:
 
 
How I realize the world actually sees me:
 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

I Solemnly Swear

It kills me when I hear anti-gay propaganda talking about "avowed homosexuals."  I can't help but picture some formal ceremony: "I solemnly swear to be the whole queer and nothing but the queer, so help me Gay."  You just know that there are some wingnuts out there who honestly believe that such things are going on.
 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What A Drag It Is

I realize that I'm not going to get much sympathy from anyone who's had to wear glasses most of their lives, but I was bummed to have to buy a pair of reading glasses this evening.  I can see far away just fine, and I can still read a computer screen.  But my near vision is too poor to read anything close up, such as when I try to read in bed.  The main reason I've loathed getting any kind of eye wear is that I tremendously dislike the idea of keeping up with a pair of glasses and having to take them on and off throughout the day.  But, after not needing them for the first forty odd years of my life, I also feel that they're a slap in the face with the reality of aging and the general physical decline that goes with it.  Unfortunately, I've made the decision to not seek the shelter of mother's little helper, so I have to face the facts soberly.
 
 
Rubbing One Out
 
I got a massage at a walk-in place after work.  (Fuck you, budget!)  I justified the expense as complementing the strength training I've been adding to my cardio routine.  The guy did a great job, even if I feel as if I'd been hit by a truck.  It hurt like hell while he worked on me, but I'm sure a lot of knots got taken care of.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Best 2 Out of 3

I have mounds and mounds of baggage—accumulated over a lifetime—to wade through in order to uncover the spark of hope I've managed to keep alive that something of my dreams might one day actually come true.  But irrespective of that, I have three major practical areas that I am trying to improve:
  1. Sobriety
  2. Money/Debt
  3. Weight/Diet
My sobriety has to take primacy because, if it falls, nothing else can be sustained.  Experience has shown me that I can do an incredible amount of damage in a very short time.  It seems to me that, on a good day, the best I can hope for is two out of the three.  I'm either eating well but spending money on nothing or tightening the purse strings but pigging out with wild abandon, if not blowing both things simultaneously.  (Just yesterday, one bad vibe at work had me bag the gym, overeat and spend money on frozen yoghurt.)


Eating things I enjoy is one of the few things I get pleasure out of since quitting smoking and drinking last time, and my food selections so often include sugary treats.  Even though I don't go to particularly expensive restaurants, eating take-out all the time adds up very quickly.  Of course, whenever I begin to get a handle on money, something seems to come along to set me back.  A couple of years ago, I tried seeing a therapist for some help.  But it turned out she was the only one in her practice who didn't accept my health insurance, and those five or six sessions ended up costing me over $1,200.  A couple of weeks ago, I dropped over $1,500 in less than 24 hours keeping a momma cat and four newborn kittens alive.  But frankly it's the day-to-day, nickel-and-diming that tanks my finances.  I make decent money and have no obligations except for myself.  I should be rolling in cash, not living paycheck to paycheck.  Still, shoulda woulda coulda...

A Glimmer of Hope

Well, this morning—after going off the rails on my diet last night—I managed to get up before work in time to go to the gym, and I bit the bullet and weighed myself.  (I'm leery of doing so too often because I'm afraid I'll get discouraged.)  Anyway, I actually clocked in at 246 pounds, which is seven pounds less than my most recent spike.  On top of that, my boss actually remembered Administrative Professionals' Day and gave me a Visa gift card for $25.00.  So that has buoyed me somewhat.

Monday, April 20, 2015

When You Follow Your Dreams

Once again I want so badly to drink tonight: have a six or two of beer, smoke a couple of packs of cigarettes, play some video games.  (You'd think I could just play video games alone, but my anxiety and poor mood have to be artificially smoothed out to open the pathways of pleasure.)  I'm not going to, but I gave it a few seconds serious consideration on the drive home.  It hasn't even been a bad day.  I got a lot done at work, but it was a long day and a challenging day.  And then I come home to nothing but a seemingly endless stream of more shit that needs to get done.

As good as I've been on all fronts, I have to resign myself to the fact that the progress I'm making with all of my current challenges is necessarily small and incremental.  I'm so programmed by books and movies into thinking that I'm one montage away from a perfect existence.  But I'm not going to lose all of this weight...or get out of my massive debt...or sort my fucking life out (mate) overnight.  It will take continuous positive steps and strides—day after day after day—with no great reward, no crashing cymbals, not even anyone else to acknowledge it.  That's what I have to wrap my head around. The dramatic alcohol-down-the-drain / flushing-the-pills / cutting-up-the-credit-cards / pitching-the-cake-and-donuts moments are the easy part, the gratifying part.  That's why I've done them over and over again 10,000 times in the past 30 years.  It's the follow-through that is the hard bit, and that which remains undiscovered country for me, even well into middle age.

You turn to find the light has faded
You wonder what it was you were reaching for
How quickly you have lost your way
It's always when you think you've got it made

You take one step after the other
At times you may not know which way to go
You open one door just to find another
Someday you will begin, begin to know
{Missing Persons, "The Closer That You Get"}

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Master Plan

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
{Albert Einstein}
 
I have a master plan for my life.  I've always had one for these pipe dreams that I've nurtured and kept alive for over 30 years of bitterness and disappointment (as not a single one has come true).  As battered as my hopes are, if I give them up, what reason do I have to soldier on?  I feel as if I'm moving in the right direction because, for the first time in forever, I've been able to sustain month after month where I'm not undermining or sabotaging my own progress in some way.

But I'm so damn tired of dealing with my mood.  I so often feel I'm at the breaking point, the same breaking point that has derailed me again and again in a pattern of failure over a lifetime.  I'm still amazed at how many emotional crises I've weathered without trashing my sobriety, but my mood problems predate my addiction problems.  They caused my addiction problems.  I honestly can't offer any rational basis for a belief that, if I only stay the course a little longer, I will one day wake up to a mythical promised land where my perspective is sanguine and my life is in control.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Erstwhile

My erstwhile cat Fiona had her litter of kittens, but she and they are no longer with me.  Since 99% of people won't understand where I'm coming from (or perhaps, more accurately, that I'm not up to the task of making clear my perspective), I won't bother to explain what happened.  The short version is that there were some health issues, but now everything has been resolved.  Fiona and her four kittens are being fostered by a dedicated volunteer until all five of them can be eventually re-homed.

I thought that a new cat and the new life of kittens—life I had no responsibility in creating but could nevertheless nurture and take care of—would energize and enrich me as I enter a phase of protracted sobriety.  It was simply my fault for thinking existence could be something other than cruel, ignominious and worthless by nature of its endemic suffer.  I once again descended into realms of emotion that I had never wanted to see again.  I try so hard to deceive myself, like everybody does, but the cold, hard facts of reality are always there lurking in the background.

The State of Things

Even though I started the day feeling better after finally getting some sleep, I spontaneously burst into tears at work yesterday afternoon.  No one saw me, but that's less than optimal professional behavior.  It happened again at home last night.  But tears are useless, as is grief.  The only thing that astounds me is that I managed to get through with my sobriety intact.  It certainly wasn't my intent at the time.  I had every notion of drinking as soon as humanly possible once the dust settled.  But for some reason I didn't.  I can't really credit good judgment or strength of character, but I'm glad of it all the same.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mind Fuck

Just in case you were accidentally feeling happy, content and secure...

Much as I've enjoyed my recent discovery of VNV Nation, the video below really kind of freaked me out, between the philosophically-heavy, melancholically-downbeat song and the depressing, bizarre, uncanny-valley animation: