Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Monday, June 30, 2014

Homelessness & Dead Kittens

My detoxing this time around hasn't been as bad, probably because I didn't drink all that much when I fell off the wagon.  But I was definitely feeling the depression this past weekend.  On Saturday, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of bed, but my mother needed help with something.  So I forced myself up at the crack of noon and went over to my parents' house.  Afterward, since I was already moving, I went ahead and went to the gym.  I puttered around for a bit and went to bed early.  Yesterday, I had intended to go into work and get caught up on some things to help take the pressure off, but I couldn't make myself get vertical until after 4 p.m.  I bagged working out and got carry out for dinner (and frozen yoghurt for dessert) and vegetated in front of the television until I went to bed at 9 p.m.
Even though I managed to drag myself out of bed at 6 a.m. and exercise this morning, thirty minutes of cardio didn't do much to improve my mood.  On the walk home from the gym I was obsessing about the suffering of innocents and thinking that I despise everything about life.  I see misery everywhere that I look.

Man's Inhumanity To Man

And the Wikipedia homepage today had a blurb about just one more monstrous act (along with its usual anniversaries of wars and massacres) that human beings have perpetrated against each other for as long as we have existed, somehow being able to rationalize ineffable cruelty with casual indifference:  the blinding of a Hungarian child because he might be a threat to the throne.  I point this out simply to answer the question as to why, no matter how sanguine or how despairing I may feel about my personal lot at any given time, my Weltanschauung is always—at its heart—one of misanthropy and nihilism.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


So cry, baby, cry...I don't care anymore
Cry, baby, cry...'cause I'm out the door
Cry, baby, cry...turn your gray skies blue
Cry, baby, cry...'cause I cried for you...for you
{Information Society, "Crybaby"}
I was feeling the full weight of my sins today.  All afternoon I've just felt like bursting into tears for no reason, which would have been hysterical at my day job, especially since important clients and a bigwig from another office were visiting.  I'd been working like a demon the past three days, but I felt like I'd run out of steam.  Hopefully I can hit the ground running tomorrow and get everything I need to get done over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Soldiering On

I'm trying not to think about the horrors in store for me after last weekend's drinking has reset my sobriety and the associated withdrawal.  In fact, I'm trying not to think about much of anything at all.  I'm just marching ahead and doing What Needs To Be Done at work and at home.  So far it's been working remarkably well, but who knows how long that will last?  The situation in my personal life has resolved itself satisfactorily, and my efforts during the day have gotten me that much closer to getting caught up at work.  What can one do but appreciate the good and try?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Like I'm Living at the Edge of the World

Well, I failed once again.  Friday night, I drank one and most of a second beer before starting to feel incredibly nauseated, so that derailed my relapse.  However, I ended up drinking ten beers last night, so I'm sure I'm right back to square one.

I violated the addict's cautionary mnemonic H.A.L.T., specifically anger.  In a rare show of maturity, I won't say that someone made me so angry that it forced me to drink.  Instead, I will say that I let myself get so angry at someone that I used it as an excuse to drink again.  I don't want to go into specifics at this point, but this interpersonal drama added to the stress of being behind at work has brought me low.  And I'm terrified of having to go through all of the horrors of acute and post-acute withdrawal yet again.

The only wisdom I can offer is that I've realized that you probably shouldn't listen to Disintegration by The Cure when you feel like you've hit close to bottom.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Only 1 Year & 11 Months Left To Go

I'm a month sober now.  While I'm very happy about that, I've been struggling with my mood and emotions and motivation for weeks on end now.  I've decided to give up on my whole "90-day transformation" thing.  I'm still trying to move forward with those goals, but I need to focus on simply remaining sober and not put any extra pressure on myself.  I also given up trying to shake my caffeine habit, though I might give that another whirl during the long Fourth of July weekend.
I've been doing more research on post-acute-withdrawal syndrome.  According to one resource, the most common symptoms are:  Mood swings, Anxiety, Irritability, Tiredness, Variable energy, Low enthusiasm, Variable concentration and Disturbed sleep.  All of which I have in spades.  Apparently, it will take a long time for my brain to heal from the damage I've inflicted upon it, as much as two years to be symptom-free.  (Assuming I can maintain sobriety for all that time...)  So that means I only have to wait another 23 months of being a complete train wreck and emotional basket case.

Actually, I'm glad to learn about this condition.  It gives me perspective and gives me hope, and with any luck, I'll use the information to keep from relapsing.  The main reason I gave up my last long stretch of sobriety was that I was so angry about the return of serious depression, even after all of my hard work of not drinking, eating well and exercising.  Now I know I'll have to expect that for the foreseeable future.  I can look forward to the good patches getting longer and longer, but I'm still going to have days where the bottom drops out of my mood for no reason.

The Kindness of Strangers

In truth, I've kind of leveled out today (finally!), but the weekend was difficult.  I went to bed at 9 p.m. on Saturday night because I just didn't know what the hell to do with myself.  I did receive a couple of positives from people I've never met that helped me along.  A stranger who's actually read this blog more than once e-mailed me some kind words that were well-received and a nice gesture.

I was also watching a stand-up video by Chris Hardwick (who apparently grew up in the same city and at about the same time as I did).  While cyberstalking doing background research on him on Wikipedia, I found a link to his personal website where he talks about giving up drinking and encourages others struggling with alcoholism to do the same.  So that was well-timed as well.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Riding the Tiger

Then in your 40's, you're like, "You know what?  This is the only thing I like about being alive."
{Jim Gaffigan on drinking}
I'm still feeling like crap—no energy, no enthusiasm, lack of concentration, lack of motivation—and so I've invested fully in blaming post-acute-withdrawal syndrome.  As I mentioned in that previous entry, I've gone back to the beginning of the Mass Effect video game trilogy in an effort to pique my interest in something, anythingVideo games have previously helped pull me out of depression; however, it's risky turning to them because they have become an integral part of my drinking behavior.  Since I did play most of the first and second game of that series while drunk, I'm trying to be enthusiastic about actually experiencing them with a clear head.  Plus, I don't want my alcoholism to completely ruin something I normally enjoy so much.

Bioware is by far my favorite video game company making my far-and-away favorite games.  But they have so much exposition in their richly detailed worlds and talking, talking, talking.  Usually, that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned, but with my damaged attention span, it's been hard to remain focused (without being able to take a hit of beer or a drag off a cigarette).  Last Friday, every time I entered a long, involved conversation or unlocked a new codex entry in my game, I would also fold the laundry I was doing or some other small mindless thing to keep myself from getting too twitchy. 

I have to believe that this will all get better over time if I keep up with my sobriety.  And yet it's no wonder to me that I'm drawn to cloistering myself and obsessing over a pointless activity because the things my character does actually impacts the things that happen to that character in a virtual world where s/he can actually make a difference.  There's just so much misery in the real world; I see it constantly everywhere I look.  So what does it matter if we're sober and self-actualized or drunken losers as we play out our hand in the stacked deck of life?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

How Low Can I Go?

I swear, my depression is just killing me!  To have no hope and no pleasure in absolutely anything.  My moods are so erratic and so all-consuming that it's hard for me to have any perspective on my ups and downs.  I hope this is just a speed bump on my road to sobriety.  Until then, I just have to force myself to move through my life like an automaton.